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
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.