MSD Licenses Molnupiravir In India
Nuances, Local Data In Focus
MSD India outlines further specifics around the just-announced voluntary licensing deal for molnupiravir with Indian firms, noting an expectation to discuss local data needs with the country’s regulator. All eyes are also on whether non-licensee Natco will stay the course for its application for the investigational antiviral.
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Major Indian pharmaceutical companies including Cipla, Dr Reddy’s, Emcure, Sun and Torrent have entered into a first-of-its-kind collaboration to jointly sponsor, supervise and monitor the clinical trial of the investigational oral anti-viral drug molnupiravir to fight against COVID-19 in India.
A bit late to the table, Lupin is exploring voluntary licensing for COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines from Gilead’s remdesivir to Merck’s molnupiravir. Meanwhile, pricing for a biosimilar to Lucentis, which has been filed for approval in India, will be keenly watched.
As India sees a consistent rise in daily cases and deaths due to COVID-19, the off-patent industry is stepping up to make drugs affordable and available. Zydus Cadila is seeking approval for virafin, while Natco has applied for molnupiravir approval. Vaccine production and availability has also come under focus.