India’s COVID Crisis Roundup: Eli Lilly Collaborates with 3 Local Drugmakers to Upscale Baricitinib

As the second COVID-19 outbreak escalates in India, the drug regulator of India has approved several drugs and vaccines for emergency use. That includes the recent approval of oral COVID-19 drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG). In addition to that, global pharmaceutical companies are striving to deliver medical support and collaboration with local manufacturers to lessen the burden.

Approved COVID-19 Treatments and Vaccines in India

Currently, India has approved three vaccines for emergency use; Covaxin manufactured by Bharat Biotech, Russia Gamaleya’s Sputnik V, and AstraZeneca’s AZD1222 which is sold under the name Covishield.

The country has also approved a few antibody treatments and antivirals. Among them, Roche’s COVID-19 antibody cocktail, Casirivimab and Imdevimab, and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals’ Favipiravir, originally designed for influenza, have been approved for mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.

Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir was approved in June 2020 for severe COVID-19 patients. Also, tocilizumab was approved for severe COVID-19 patients, and itolizumab scored the authorization in July 2020 for COVID-19 patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress.

Current Approved Treatment: 2-DG Explained

To manage the oxygen crisis, India has recently approved Zydus Cadila’s Virafin, and DRDO manufactured 2-DG.

2-DG’s approval couldn’t come at a better time for the country as the oxygen dependency of COVID-19 patients is rising rapidly. The drug is approved for treating moderate to severe COVID-19 patients as an adjunct therapy and has shown the capability of reducing patients’ dependence on oxygen and faster recovery than the Standard of Care (SoC), even in patients who are over 65-year-old.

It can selectively accumulate in the infected cells even in the lung and stop the virus from growing and dismantle its energy production, leading to faster recovery in hospitalized patients and decrease supplemental oxygen dependence. Patients can dissolve 2-DG in water and consume it easily.

Eli Lilly Collaborates with 3 Indian Drug Manufacturers

Despite these approvals, the country faces a huge shortage of COVID-19 treatments due to the second wave.

On May 10th, Eli Lilly announced the royalty-free and non-exclusive voluntary agreement with three Indian drug manufacturers to upscale the production of baricitinib, the arthritis drug that snatched approval in combination with remdesivir for hospitalized COVID-19 adult patients requiring supplemental oxygen. Under the agreement, Eli Lilly will team up with Cipla, Lupin, and Sun Pharma.

Related Article: India Approves Oral COVID-19 Drug for Emergency Use to Abate Oxygen Crisis

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