Pharmas Having Field Day After Covid-19

Pharmas having a field day after Covid-19

To contain the spread of the novel Coronavirus, pharma companies are on their toes for developing a potential cure. Many Indian Pharmas have also signed agreements and deals with other pharma giants. Besides that, US FDA nods for Indian pharmas are on a spree after Indian generic drugs are in demand.

Crux of the Matter

Drug Deals
In the absence of a Covid-19 vaccine, countries like the USA, Japan, and India have approved emergency use of Remdesivir drug, which is considered to be a potential drug for coronavirus. Zydus Cadila has signed a non-exclusive licensing pact with Gilead Sciences. As per the agreement, Zydus will manufacture and market Remdesivir drugs in 127 countries including India. Moreover, Dr. Reddy’s also signed a deal with Gilead for Remdesivir. In recent times, Gilead Sciences, which has Remdesivir’s patent, has signed multiple deals with pharmas across the world. Following is the list of the pharma with whom Gilead Sciences has signed non-exclusive deals :

  • Indian companies: Cipla, Jubilant Sciences, Hetero Labs, Biocon’s arm Syngene International, Zydus Cadila and Dr. Reddy’s
  • Pakistani companies: Ferozsons Labs
  • Bangladeshi companies: Beximco Pharma
  • Egyptian companies: Eva Pharma

Insulin Glargine
Biocon and Mylan have jointly produced Semglee – insulin glargine injection. Available in a vial and pre-filled pen presentations, it helps control high blood sugar in Type-2 diabetic adults and Type-1 diabetic minors. Till now the price of the insulin in the USA has been so high that many people skipped taking the life-saving doses. But after US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of insulin glargine as biologics in the USA, Biocon has prepared itself to launch a biosimilar at a relatively cheaper rate.

The biologic drug is a medicine produced from living organisms or contains components of living organisms. Biosimilar is a drug similar to Biologic but not close enough in duplication. Moreover, biosimilars are cheaper with no clinical difference in its effectiveness. Currently Biocon as 28 biosimilar molecules in different stages of development. Biocon launched its first biosimilar in 2016.

AZD1222 Covid Vaccine
AstraZeneca PLC (AZ) has signed a contract with European governments to supply 400 million doses of the vaccine. AZD1222 is its potential vaccine for Coronavirus. The British Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has approved the start of Phase III trials and the first delivery of the vaccine is expected by the end of 2020. The deal is made between AstraZeneca and European nations i.e. France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. Moreover, Other European countries will also be allowed to join the deal. China, Brazil, Japan, and Russia have also expressed interest to get the vaccine.

AZ and Serum Institute of India (SII) signed a licensing agreement to supply 1 billion doses of the Oxford University vaccine to India. AZ will also provide an additional 400 million doses to India. SII will invest $100 million in AZ’s Covid-19 vaccine development

Sun Pharma is testing a plant-derived drug, AQCH. It is derived from tropical, climbing shrub Cocculus Hirsutus and is being considered an important drub against fighting Covid. As of now, the company is conducting trials across 12 centers on 210 patients in India. Other Indian pharma companies, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, and Strides Pharma Science are also conducting trials for a drug to cure Covid-19.

  • AstraZeneca PLC is an English-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company founded in 1999 through the merger of the Swedish Astra AB and the English Zeneca Group. In June 2020, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) confirmed that the third phase of testing for potential vaccines developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca would begin in August 2020.
  • Word vaccination comes from vaccinia, a cowpox infection. Ultimately from Latin vacca (“cow”). The term was coined by Edward Jenner who infected people with weakened cowpox viruses (Vaccinia), to immunise them against smallpox. It is now known that vaccinia and cowpox are separate conditions, but at the time of Jenner, they were considered the same condition.
  • Hilary Koprowski was a Polish virologist and immunologist active in the United States of America who demonstrated the world’s first effective live polio vaccine. Koprowski was the target of accusations in the press related to the “OPV AIDS hypothesis”, which posited that the AIDS pandemic originated from live polio vaccines such as Koprowski’s. The case was settled out of court with a formal apology from Rolling Stone magazine.