Biocon hits new high on DGCI nod to market Itolizumab for Covid treatment

Topics Biocon | Buzzing stocks | Markets

Shares of Biocon surged 10 per cent to Rs 455, also its new high, on the BSE on Monday after the company said it has received the approval of Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to market its novel biologic drug Itolizumab for treatment of patients with moderate to severe Covid-19 complications.

The stock opened 10 per cent higher on the BSE and 8 per cent higher at Rs 447 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE).

“Itolizumab is the first novel biologic therapy to be approved anywhere in the world for treating patients with moderate to severe Covid-19 complications. Biocon has repurposed Itolizumab, an anti-CD6 IgG1 monoclonal antibody launched in India in 2013 as ALZUMAb for treating chronic plaque psoriasis, for the treatment of CRS in moderate to severe ARDS patients due to COVID-19,” Biocon said in a press release.

Itolizumab will be manufactured and formulated as an intravenous injection at Biocon’s bio-manufacturing facility at Biocon Park, Bengaluru, it said.

“This positions India amongst the leading global innovators in their effort to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. The randomized control trial indicated that all the patients treated with Itolizumab responded positively and recovered. We plan to take this therapy to other parts of the world impacted by the pandemic,” said the company's Executive Chairperson, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

However, in a note, ICICI Securities said, "The company is likely to garner temporary finite opportunity from this drug. We do not expect significant financial benefit from this approval."

At 09:23 am, the stock had partially erased its early morning gain and was trading 3 per cent higher at Rs 428 on the BSE. In comparison, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 0.89 per cent at 36,921 points. A combined 4.6 million equity shares have changed hands on the counter on the NSE and BSE so far.

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