Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd has entered into a licensing agreement with U.S. company Eli Lilly and Co to make and sell Lilly’s arthritis drug baricitinib for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.
Baricitinib has been given restricted emergency use approval by India’s drug regulator for use in combination with remdesivir for the treatment of hospitalised Covid-19 adult patients requiring supplemental oxygen, Cipla said in a filing to stock exchanges.
The agreement comes at a time when India is facing an acute shortage of coronavirus medicines such as remdesivir and tocilizumab.
In November, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration initially gave Eli Lilly an emergency use approval for baricitinib in combination with remdesivir to treat Covid-19 patients.
Aside from remdesivir and tocilizumab, Cipla also offers antiviral drug favipiravir, used to treat patients with moderate to mild Covid-19.
Recetly Cipla announced said it would be the local distribution partner for a Covid-19 antibody drug cocktail developed by Roche and Regeneron.
India has posted more than 400,000 daily coronavirus cases for the past four days, and its total infections have reached nearly 22.30 million, the second highest number of cases in the world after the United States.