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Dr Reddy's to manufacture Avigan, also known as Favipiravir; signs deal with Japan's FUJIFILM

Avigan, an antiviral drug to fight influenza, is believed to be effective in treatment of COVID-19 patients

twitter-logoE Kumar Sharma | July 1, 2020 | Updated 14:41 IST
Dr Reddy's to manufacture Avigan, also known as Favipiravir; signs deal with Japan's FUJIFILM

KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dr Reddy's will develop, sell and distribute Avigan in India under the deal
  • Avigan was approved for manufacture and sale in Japan in 2014 as an influenza antiviral drug
  • FUJIFILM will provide Dr. Reddy's with data on Avigan's preclinical and clinical studies
  • Glenmark sells Favipiravir under the brand name FabiFlu priced at Rs 103 per tablet
Hyderabad-based Indian pharma major Dr. Reddy's Laboratories announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with FUJIFILM Corporation, through FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical Co. Ltd and Global Response Aid, for the development, manufacture and sales of Avigan Tablets, a drug believed to be effective in treatment of COVID-19 patients. Avigan is also commonly known by its generic name Favipiravir.

A note issued by Dr Reddy's says, "under the tripartite agreement signed on June 30, 2020, FUJIFILM grants Dr. Reddy's the exclusive rights of manufacturing and also grants both Dr. Reddy's and GRA the rights to develop, sell and distribute Avigan in all countries other than Japan, China and Russia. Dr. Reddy's would have exclusive rights for development, selling and distribution of Avigan in India. Further, FUJIFILM would receive an upfront license fee and royalties on sales from Dr. Reddy's and GRA."

FUJIFILM will provide Dr. Reddy's and GRA with an array of data on Avigan's preclinical and clinical studies that FUJIFILM has accumulated so far. Dr. Reddy's and GRA will use this data for clinical studies in regions where coronavirus continues to spread. FUJIFILM will also grant Dr.Reddy's right to use Avigan's patents of formulation and manufacturing method. Dr. Reddy's will establish a setup for manufacturing drugs of the same quality as Avigan, and utilise GRA's global sales network to supply the manufactured drugs swiftly and in a stable manner.

FUJIFILM Group is currently conducting a clinical study on Avigan targeting COVID-19 patients in Japan and the US. It aims to increase the drug's production by partnering with domestic and overseas companies. Dr. Reddy's and GRA shall introduce the product in the market after all applicable approvals.

Avigan tablet, developed by FUJIFILM Toyama Chemical, was approved for manufacture and sale in Japan in 2014 as an influenza antiviral drug. The drug is used in Japan only when there is an outbreak of novel or re-emerging influenza virus, and other influenza antiviral drugs are either not effective or insufficiently effective.

Dr Reddy's is not the only company which will produce Favipiravir in India, there are others too. Glenmark on June 20 announced that Glenmark had become the first pharmaceutical company in India to receive regulatory approval for oral antiviral Favipiravir, for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 cases. It launched its first generic under the brand name FabiFlu priced at Rs 103 per tablet.  The spokesperson said, Glenmark was the first to run a trial on COVID patients in India and most patients exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms could benefit from FabiFlu use.

The drug is sold as a prescription-based medication, with recommended dose being 1800 mg twice daily on day 1, followed by 800 mg twice daily up to day 14. Cipla is another company seeking regulatory approval to launch the drug.

Also read: Coronavirus: Fujifilm to partner with Dr Reddy's to sell anti-flu drug avigan globally

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