Dr Reddy’s takes lead in COVID-19 treatment with both favipiravir and remdesivir in portfolio, says GlobalData

Following the news that Indian pharmaceutical giant Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (Dr Reddy’s) has signed tripartite agreement with Tokyo-based FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical and Dubai-based Global Response Aid (GRA) for the development, manufacturing and sales of favipiravir innovator brand Avigan;

Anupama Mishra, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“This is the second deal by Dr Reddy’s for the COVID-19 treatment within 20 days following the non-exclusive agreement with Gilead Sciences for marketing remdesivir. With this deal, it is among the only few leading Indian companies with both favipiravir and remdesivir drugs in its portfolio. Cipla is another company with both remdesivir and favipiravir (seeking generic approval for favipiravir).

“Under the terms of agreement, FUJIFILM is expected to receive an upfront undisclosed license fee and royalties on sales from Dr Reddy’s and GRA. Dr Reddy’s holds exclusive rights for manufacturing Avigan while both GRA and Dr Reddy’s have shared rights to develop, sell and market the drug worldwide except Japan, China, and Russia.

“GlobalData’s research reveals that 20 clinical trials are ongoing globally to evaluate the safety and efficacy of favipiravir in COVID-19 treatment both as monotherapy and combination with other drugs.

“Favipiravir, the generic version FabiFlu, is already marketed in India by Glenmark Pharmaceuticals for restricted emergency use in mild-to-moderate cases of COVID-19. Russia, the UAE, and Bangladesh have also approved it for COVID-19 treatment. Several countries have approved the compassionate use of favipiravir in COVID-19 treatment and are waiting for regulatory approval.

“According to GlobalData COVID-19 dashboard, India had 673,165 confirmed cases as of 5 July 2020 and the dashboard forecasts 2,296,123 confirmed cases in a low transmission risk scenario on 16 July 2020.

“Currently, Glenmark has priced FabiFlu at INR103 (US$1.38) per tablet in India. Indian Companies Cipla, Lupin, Strides Pharma, Brinton Pharmaceuticals, Optimus Pharma, and Lasa Supergenerics are seeking regulatory approval in India to launch their respective brands of favipiravir. Strides Pharma, Optimus Pharma and Lasa Supergenerics have already started exporting favipiravir in different forms. Hence, Dr Reddy’s is anticipated to price Avigan similar to ‘FabiFlu’ in India and its cost can further slash down in the future due to competition from domestic manufacturers.

“The partnership of Dr Reddy’s with an innovator company would increase the credibility of favipiravir in the Indian and global markets. The company’s strong portfolio in manufacturing COVID-19 drugs will help it to offer a competitive price in both the global and domestic markets.”

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