By Economic Times – Dr Reddy’s partners Fujifilm to launch Avigan for Covid-19 treatment HYDERABAD: Indian generic drug maker Dr Reddy’s Laboratories has partnered with the Japanese pharma giant Fujifilm Toyama Chemical and Global Response Aid (GRA) for development, manufacture and sale of antiviral drug Avigan (favipiravir) tablets for potential treatment of Covid-19.

The agreement grants Dr Reddy’s exclusive rights for India and grants both Dr Reddy’s and GRA the rights to develop, sell and distribute Avigan in all countries other than Japan, China and Russia.

Under this agreement, Fujifilm would receive an upfront license fee and royalties on sales from Dr Reddy’s and GRA.

Earlier in 2011, Dr Reddy’s had formed a joint venture with Fujifilm for generic drugs business in the Japanese market but both the companies called off the venture after two years as the venture did not take off.

Avigan tablet developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical was approved for manufacture and sale in Japan in 2014 as an influenza antiviral drug. The drug is to be considered for use only when there is an outbreak of novel or re-emerging influenza virus infections in which other influenza antiviral drugs are either not effective or insufficiently effective. The Japanese government decided to use the drug as a countermeasure against such influenza viruses.

Avigan was developed by Fujifilm and is currently under trail in several parts of globe targeting Covid-19 patients and a large trial result is expected this month. Fujifilm group is currently conducting a clinical study in Japan and the US and has been partnering with both the Japanese and overseas drug makers.

In a statement on Wednesday, Dr Reddy’s said GRA and it will obtain from Fujifilm an array of data on Avigan’s preclinical and clinical studies accumulated so far. Dr Reddy’s and GRA will use this data for clinical studies, targeting Covid-19 in regions where the infection was spreading.

“Dr Reddy’s and GRA shall introduce the product in the market post all applicable approvals in the respective countries,” said the statement.

Dr Reddy’s will also obtain rights from Fujifilm to use Avigan’s patents of formulation and manufacturing method, said the statement, adding that the Hyderabad-headquartered drug maker will establish a setup for manufacturing drugs of the same quality as Avigan. Further, Dr Reddy’s said it will use GRA’s global sales network to supply the manufactured drugs swiftly and in a stable manner.

Recently, Glenmark has received emergency approval for the generic favipiravir from India’s drug controller to manufacture the drug but the drug is yet to be part of the treatment protocol reviewed last week by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
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