Drug firm Zydus Cadila has inked a generic manufacturing pact with the Medicines Patent Pool for manufacturing global pharma major Bristol-Myers Squibb's daclatasvir tablets used in the treatment of Hepatitis C. The company "has signed a non-exclusive, royalty free agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) for the generic production of Bristol-Myers Squibb's daclatasvir, a novel direct-acting antiviral that is proven to help cure multiple genotypes of the Hepatitis C Virus," Zydus Cadila said in a statement. The agreement sub-licences Zydus to produce and sell daclatasvir in 112 low and middle income countries, it added. "We are happy to work together with the Medicines Patent Pool and Bristol-Myers Squibb to serve the cause of healthcare by providing access to new and affordable therapies to the economically disadvantaged communities across the developing countries," Zydus group Chairman and MD Pankaj R Patel said. The MPP licence allows generic manufacturers to develop fixed-dose combinations that offer the potential to treat all of the six major genotypes of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), the statement said. Between 130 and 150 million people worldwide are estimated to have HCV. The vast majority lives in low and middle income countries, it added. The MPP is a United Nations-backed public health organisation working to increase access to HIV, viral hepatitis C and tuberculosis treatments in low and middle-income countries.