Drug major Cipla is working with government agencies to develop a treatment for COVID-19 while ramping up the production of various life saving essential drugs, according to company's chairman YK Hamied.

Sharing information with company's shareholders in the drug firm's annual report for 2019-20, Hamied said the company is at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19.

"Cipla is collaborating with the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Ministry of Health to develop medications for the treatment of COVID-19," Hamied said.

Meanwhile, the company is offering drugs, which have shown potency in treating COVID-19, in partnership with its global partners, he said.

"Through our strategic global partnerships, we offer a wide range of drugs in our portfolio giving relief and improving treatment access. This is especially true with the vital life-saving drugs like remdesivir, favipiravir and tocilizumab," Hamied said.

The Mumbai-based drug firm is also ramping up manufacturing of essential drugs required in the fight against the pandemic, he added.

Besides scaling up production of medicines that show potency against the virus — Lopinavir + Ritonavir, Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin, the company is also ramping up manufacturing of drugs for chronic ailments such as asthma, COPD, among others, Hamied said.

He added that the pandemic has also served as a wake up call spotlighting the need for every nation to be self-reliant.

Cipla's philosophy of self-reliance and self-sufficiency and its pledge to provide universal access to affordable medicines has become even more critical today, Hamied noted.

The foundation and backbone of the pharma industry is the availability and manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients known as APIs, he said.

Earler , the company has also in the past helped in the fight against infectious diseases like anthrax, bird flu and swine flu by developing drugs, Hamied noted.

Sun Pharma launches the cheapest brand of favipiravir priced at Rs 35 a tablet

The country's largest drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries on Tuesday launched the cheapest brand of favipiravir in the market – FluGuard,priced at Rs 35 a tablet Jenburkt Pharma's brand Favivent is priced at Rs 39 per tablet.

Favipiravir is the only oral anti-viral treatment approved in India for potential treatment of patients with mild to moderate Covid-19 disease.

Kirti Ganorkar, CEO of India Business, Sun Pharma said, “With over 50,000 Covid-19 cases being reported daily in India, there is an urgent need to provide more treatment options to healthcare professionals. We are launching FluGuard at an economical price to make the drug accessible to more and more patients thereby reducing their financial burden.” FluGuard will be available in market from this week.

BDR Pharmaceuticals launches Favipiravir at Rs 63 per tablet in India
Drug firm BDR Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday said it has launched its antiviral drug Favipiravir for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in India at a price of Rs 63 per tablet.

The company has also come up with a patient assistance programme which will allow patients and institutions who have limited resources to purchase the medicine at a highly subsidised rate, BDR Pharmaceuticals said in a statement.

BDR pharma has received an approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture Favipiravir to treat mild to moderate patients with COVID-19 symptoms.

The drug has been launched under the brand name 'BDFAVI', it added.

"BDR has been at the forefront in benefiting patients in this pandemic and supporting India's fight against COVID-19. This launch further strengthens our commitment to the patients to provide better outcomes for patients with mild to moderate COVID symptoms in India," BDR Pharmaceuticals CMD Dharmesh Shah said.

The company has developed Favipiravir tablets in 200 mg strengths with a strip of 10 tablets, BDR Pharmaceuticals said.

Zenara Pharma Receives Nod To Sell Covid-19 Drug Favipiravir

Zenara Pharma,a fully owned subsidiary of Biophore India Pharmaceuticals, announced that it has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), to manufacture and sell Favipiravir tablets as a treatment option for patients with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

The tablet, which will be sold under the brand name 'Favizen', is being manufactured at Zenar's US FDA approved facility here, a press release from the drug maker said.

Jagadeesh Babu Rangisetty,Co-founder and Managing Director of the firm, said, "In the ongoing pandemic, it has become extremely critical for pharmaceutical companies to quickly provide safe and effective treatment options for patients with COVID-19. I am proud to say that we have our own in-house API and are not dependent on any imports for the production. We believe that this will ensure stability and rapid production and availability of this treatment for the Indian market."

The company is also in talks with various institutions to make the tablets available at discounted or no cost to underprivileged patients, he added.

Lupin launches Covihalt at Rs 49 per tablet for COVID treatment

Drug major Lupin on Wednesday announced the launch of its Favipiravir drug under the brand name 'Covihalt' for the treatment patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms at Rs 49 per tablet in India.

Favipiravir has received authorisation from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for emergency use, Lupin said in a regulatory filing.

Its Covihalt dosage strength has been developed keeping in mind convenience of administration, it stated, adding that the drug is available as 200 mg tablets in the form of a strip of 10 tablets, and priced at Rs 49 per tablet.

Lupin President – India Region Formulations (IRF) Rajeev Sibal said the company believes that it can leverage its expertise in managing widespread community diseases like tuberculosis to proactively reach patients across India and ensure access to Covihalt through its strong distribution network and field force.

On August 4, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries had launched Favipiravir under the brand name ''FluGuard'' for the treatment of mild to moderate cases of COVID-19, at Rs 35 per tablet in India.