Ahmedabad-headquartered pharma major Cadila Pharmaceuticals said it has got the licence to manufacture a generic version of Pfizer's oral antiviral Covid-19 medication PAXLOVID and sell it in 95 countries, including India.
A company spokesperson said it got the nod after signing a sub-licensing deal with Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), an UN-based public health organisation, working to increase access to life-saving medicines for low- and middle-income countries.
"We are pleased to partner with MPP to make a generic version of the innovative medicine PAXLOVID for the global community and contribute towards reducing the health burden due to the pandemic.
"We reiterate our commitment to make affordable innovations available to the last man in society," Cadila Pharmaceuticals CMD Rajiv Modi said in a statement.
Pfizer’s PAXLOVID™ consists of nirmatrelvir, which inhibits a SARS-CoV-2 protein to stop the virus from replicating, and ritonavir, which slows down nirmatrelvir’s breakdown to help it remain in the body for a longer period at higher concentrations. PAXLOVID is administered as three tablets (two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir) taken together orally twice daily for five days.
The drug is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after the diagnosis of Covid-19 and within five days of the onset of symptoms.
The spokesperson said that Cadila Pharmaceuticals will cater to Indian and export markets since many countries with high Covid-19 burden lack access to effective therapy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was the first regulatory agency to authorise the use of PAXLOVID, nirmatrelvir tablets and ritonavir tablets, co-packaged for oral use to treat high-risk mild-to-moderate Covid-19 adults and paediatric patients above 12 years, weighing at least 40kg.
Aurobindo Pharma and Torrent Pharmaceuticals, too, got the licence today.