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Cipla eyes multi-drug portfolio for virus cure

Cipla plans to work on multiple drugs to find a cure for covid-19 even as the company fine tunes its pact with Gilead Sciences Inc. on remdesivir, a potential treatment for the respiratory infection, the company’s global chief financial officer Kedar Upadhye said.
“We are trying all avenues. We are attempting to come to the service of patients and try to see that which molecule is more effective. We are trying through all ways. I think we will attack covid-19 through multiple ways,” Upadhye said in an interview.

In generics, a combination of zinc, hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin is being explored in clinical trials, while the lopinavir-ritonavir anti-cancer combination and favipiravir are other generic drugs that are being looked at by Cipla, he said.

The Mumbai-based drug maker is among four companies—the other three being Mylan, Jubilant Life Sciences and Hetero Drugs—who have signed a pact with US-based Gilead for manufacturing of the patented intravenous drug remdesivir.

Gilead last week signed voluntary licencing agreements with the four Indian companies, as well as Pakistan’s Ferozsons Laboratories, allowing them to make remdesivir for distribution in 127 countries, including India, on a royalty-free basis until a new drug or vaccine is developed against covid-19.

Upadhye said the five companies are currently chalking out the details of the pact, including decisions on manufacturing facilities, means for transfer of technology and methods to reduce the time taken to produce the drug. – Livemint

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