COVID: Lupin looks to tie-up with global cos, ramp up production

By: |
May 13, 2021 5:18 PM

The drug firm is also ramping up the production of steroids which are used in the treatment of COVID-19, Gupta said.

On the recent licensing pact with Eli Lilly and Company for Baricitinib, a drug which can be used in the treatment of COVID-19, Gupta said it would take the company at least a couple of months to launch it in the market.On the recent licensing pact with Eli Lilly and Company for Baricitinib, a drug which can be used in the treatment of COVID-19, Gupta said it would take the company at least a couple of months to launch it in the market.

Drug major Lupin aims to tie up with global companies and ramp up production of medicines in its portfolio to lend its support to the fight against the second wave of COVID-19 sweeping across the country, a top company official said on Thursday.

The Mumbai-based company plans to aggressively counter the infectious disease this time around while doing away with its strategy of being relatively less active during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were pretty much very quiet during the first wave..everyone was caught unawares with the way the disease multiplied…from our standpoint we are very clear that we didn’t do enough in the first wave but now we would like to be very much in the frontline of every product which comes,” Lupin Managing Director Nilesh Gupta told reporters in a virtual meeting.

There are new products from Merck and Pfizer for COVID-19 management and it would be Lupin’s intention to be in the first wave of all these products as they hit the market, he added.

“Our goal in the past was to bring the best in class product since we were late. Now the goal is to bring good meaningful, well established efficacy products to the market. We would like to consider that and that is what we are talking to partners,” Gupta said.

He acknowledged that a few discussions are going on in this regard.

“Unfortunately nothing is expected to fructify over the next few months,” he noted.

Gupta, however, added that its Nagpur-based manufacturing facility could be utilised to produce COVID-19 vaccines.

“We traditionally have not been in the vaccine space but we have a facility which is lying idle and that can be put to good use at this time, that is the value proposition we are pitching to vaccine manufacturers,” he noted.

Asked if the company would like to get into the production of antiviral drug Remdesivir, Gupta said: “We do have an application pending. We do not have a license. We believe in patent rights and voluntary licensing and we would very much like to work with Gilead to get approval for the product and make that available as well.”

Gilead Sciences, Inc, is a US-based biopharmaceutical company.

On the recent licensing pact with Eli Lilly and Company for Baricitinib, a drug which can be used in the treatment of COVID-19, Gupta said it would take the company at least a couple of months to launch it in the market.

“There is some development work which we will have to do.. also it depends how quickly DCGI approves the file…that is the process…we are making sure that not a single day gets wasted. It is a very powerful addition to the anti COVID treatment paradigm,” he noted.

The drug firm is also ramping up the production of steroids which are used in the treatment of COVID-19, Gupta said.

On the company’s US business, he noted that Lupin expects to launch 15 products this fiscal. The company had launched the same number of products in the American market in FY21 as well.

Lupin CFO Ramesh Swaminathan said the company has lined up Rs 1,000 crore capital expenditure for the current fiscal. He noted that the amount would be utilised for various product launches and other projects both in India and international markets.

For 2020-21 fiscal, the drug maker posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 1,216 crore. It had reported a net loss of Rs 269 crore in 2019-20.

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