Companies like Cipla, Mylan, Jubilant Life Sciences, Hetero Drugs, Syngene International and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories are also manufacturing Remdesivir for the Indian market.
The drug which was originally manufactured to treat the Ebola virus in the year 2014 has been used for other viral outbreaks including SARS and MERS.
Following the surge in cases of Covid-19, pharma major Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila) is scaling up production capacity of Remdesivir injections, which are used to treat coronavirus patients.
Zydus Cadila has an installed capacity to make eight lakh doses of Remdesivir per month. Sources in the Zydus group said that in the coming days, the installed capacity will be increased up to 12 lakh doses per month at its Ahmedabad and Vadodara plants.
“Zydus has taken test licences for the development of both plants where Remdesivir is being manufactured,” Dr HG Koshia, commissioner, Food & Drug Control Authority, Gujarat, confirmed.
Th capacity expansion will help the drugmaker compensate for the recent cut in the drug’s price through bulk production, the company sources said. Zydus has cut the price of its Remdesivir injection to Rs 899 per 100 mg lyophilised injection from Rs 2,800 per vial it charged earlier.
The Ahmedabad-headquartered company had inked a non-executive agreement with Gilead Sciences last June to manufacture and sell Remdesivir in India. As per a senior official of the company, Zydus was witnessing huge demand for Remdesivir as its product is more economical compared to other companies.
Meanwhile, the Gujarat government is in the process of purchasing three lakh doses of Remdesivir from Zydus Cadila for uninterrupted supply at Covid-19 centres. The government had issued a tender to this effect and the lowest bid was from Zydus. “We have started procuring Remdesivir at less than Rs 800 per dose from Zydus,” Koshia said.
In the last 24 hours, more than 4,000 new Covid-19 cases have been reported in Gujarat. The total number of cases in the state has crossed 3,32,500 as of Friday evening since the outbreak of the pandemic. There are around 20,500 active cases.