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Lupin aims to bring COVID-19 drugs, jabs; approaches Gilead for Remdesivir – Moneycontrol

Lupin aims to be actively involved in prevention and treatment of COVID-19, changing its strategy of being relatively less active during the first wave of the pandemic last year.

Lupin | Company received approval from USFDA for Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim Oral Suspension, which is used to treat bacterial infections.

Lupin has approached Gilead Sciences Inc for a voluntary license, or an authorisation given by a patent holder to a generics producer, to manufacture and distribute antiviral drug Remdesivir in India and other countries, the Indian company said on May 13.

“We do have an application pending, we don’t have a license (from Gilead),” Nilesh Gupta, Managing Director of Lupin, said at a post-result media call.

“At Lupin, we believe in patent rights, we believe in volutnary licensing. We would like to work very much with Gilead to get approval for the product and make that available,” Gupta said.

Lupin, which was not as active as some of its peers during the first wave of COVID-19 with drugs and vaccines, said that strategy has changed.

“We didn’t do enough in the first wave, we supplied whatever products we had …  but now we would very much like to be in the front of every product that comes…  it would be our intention to be in the first wave of all these products as they come to the market,” Gupta said.

Along with Remdesivir, Gupta said the company was in talks with MSD (US Merck) for voluntary license of COVID-19 antiviral drug Molnupiravir, and has an interest in Canadian biotech SanOtize for COVID-19 preventive nitric oxide nasal spray and Pfizer’s antiviral drug.

The company has already entered into a royalty-free licensing agreement with Eli Lilly to manufacture and distribute COVID-19 drug Baricitinib in India. Gupta said Lupin would bring this drug to the market in a couple of months.

He said the company had also offered its ‘fill and finish’ facility to some of the Indian vaccine makers, and is also looking to partner with mRNA vaccine makers like Pfizer, Moderna and others for distribution of their vaccines in India. But so far it hasn’t seen traction on that front.

Gupta also said the input material prices have substantially increased especially for COVID-19 related anti-infectives, as suppliers especially in China across the board have raised the prices.


Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.