As the pandemic marks its second year, various different variants of the original COVID-19 virus have reared their heads. After the announcement and acceptance of the vaccines developed by the most talented and intelligent scientists in the world, we might have hoped for life to have returned to normal. However, that is definitely not the case.
Amongst all the approved vaccines available in India, Molnupiravir, a COVID-19 antiviral pill has been announced.
13 companies have been given permission to produce the pill for restricted use under emergency situations for treatment of adult patients with COVID-19 and who have a high risk of progression of the disease.
What Is Molnupiravir?
1. Molnupiravir was originally developed to treat influenza and is a repurposed oral antiviral drug
2. It is developed by a US-based biotechnology company Ridgeback Biotherapeutics in collaboration with US Pharma giant Merck
3. The drug has been cleared for use in India for treatment of adult patients who have COVID-19 and show a progression of the virus
4. It works by inserting errors into the SARS COVID-19 virus’ genetic code which prevents the virus from multiplying further
5. The drug has been cleared for use outside India as well
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6. On the 4th of November, the drug was administered to patients in the United Kingdom
7. The drug has been declared as safe and effective which gave Molnupiravir clearance to be used in adult patients who are suffering from COVID-19
8. The listed risk factors are obesity, heart disease, diabetes, old age (>60)
9. The USFDA recommends that Molnupiravir is not permissible to be used beyond a period of 5 days
10. It is specifically mentioned that the drug is strictly not to be used in patients under the age of 18 as Molnupiravir has chances of affecting bone and cartilage growth
Which Companies Are Producing The Drug?
The Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya has announced that 13 pharmaceutical companies in India have been given access to produce Molnupiravir.
Six of these companies, namely Cipla, Sun Pharma, Emcure, Torrent Pharma, Viatris, led by Dr. Reddy’s have formed an association to run a five-month collaborative trial to test the safety and efficacy of the drug.
The six companies have also entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with the original manufacturers, Merck Sharpe Dohme to manufacture and supply the drug in India and to over 100 low and middle-income countries.
None of the companies which have been approved for production have announced a tentative price for the drug. Dr. Reddy is ready to launch its 200mg Molnupiravir capsules across India under the brand name Molflu.
“As a vertically integrated company, Dr. Reddy’s is able to manufacture the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) as well as the formulation for molnupiravir, and has made adequate capacity preparations to ensure that it is able to help patients in India as well as in patient populations in need around the world,” the company said.
India’s largest drug-making company, Sun Pharma has announced that they will make their Molnupiravir brand, Molxvir available to patients at an extremely affordable rate.
“We are also in the process of launching a toll-free helpline to ensure the availability of Molxvir to doctors and patients across India. Our endeavor is to make the product available in a week’s time,” said Kirti Ganorkar, CEO of India Business, Sun Pharma.
Cipla announced on Tuesday that they plan to launch the drug under their brand name of Cipmolnu.
“Cipla will soon make Cipmolnu® 200mg capsules available at all leading pharmacies and Covid treatment centers across the country. The Company has adequate manufacturing capacities and a solid distribution mechanism in place to ensure speedy access to this effective treatment pan India,” the company informed in an exchange filing on Tuesday.
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Sources: EconomicTimes, IndianExpress, LiveMint, TimesOfIndia +more
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This Post is tagged Under: pandemic, different variants, original COVID-19 virus, vaccines, scientists, Molnupiravir, a COVID-19 antiviral pill, COVID-19, influenza, US-based biotechnology company, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, US Pharma giant Merck, SARS COVID-19 virus, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, USFDA, Union Health Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, pharmaceutical companies, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Emcure, Torrent Pharma, Viatris, Dr. Reddy’s, Merck Sharpe Dohme, Molflu, Sun Pharma, Molxvir, Cipmolnu
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