Shares of the country's leading drug maker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries rose as much as 3.51 per cent to hit an intraday high of Rs 703.40 on the BSE after it signed an agreement with Eli Lilly to manufacture its drug, baricitinib in India. "Sun Pharma today announced that it has entered into a royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreement with Eli Lilly and Company for expanding access to Lilly's drug, baricitinib in India. Sun Pharma will manufacture and distribute the drug in India," Sun Pharma said in a press release.
"Baricitinib is used in combination with remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). The drug is approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) for restricted emergency use in India," Sun Pharma added.
"Through this collaboration, we aim to join our forces with Lilly to accelerate access to baricitinib in India at a time when it is most needed. This is another step by Sun Pharma towards making more treatment options available to patients in India for dealing with the pandemic," Kirti Ganorkar, CEO-India business at Sun Pharma said in a statement.
Baricitinib is authorized for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in combination with remdesivir, for treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in hospitalized adults and pediatric patients 2 years of age or older, requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Baricitinib has not been approved for the treatment of COVID-19, but has been authorized for emergency use by the US FDA, Sun Pharma said.
As of 1:29 pm, Sun Pharma shares were trading 2.87 per cent higher at Rs 699, outperforming the Sensex which was up 0.66 per cent.