Logistics specialist, Agility’s subsidiary Global Response Aid (GRA) and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories will begin selling the anti-viral drug Avigan® (favipiravir) tablets in India following a recent decision by government health authorities to approve the drug’s active ingredient, Favipiravir, for treatment of patients infected with COVID-19.
This important ruling is the result of proven efficacy from the widespread use of the drug.
In India, GRA and Dr Reddy’s will look to provide Avigan® through private healthcare providers opting for a premium quality drug. The initial supply will contain the original Avigan®, made in Japan.
On June 30, GRA signed a tripartite agreement with Dr Reddy’s Laboratories and Tokyo-based FUJIFILM Corporation for the supply and delivery of Avigan®. The inked agreement will grant Dr Reddy’s the rights to sell and distribute Avigan in all countries other than Japan, China and Russia with the support and assistance of GRA. Dr Reddy’s will also have an exclusive right to manufacture the anti-viral drug.
Dr Reddy’s is a global pharmaceutical company which develops, manufactures, and sells generic drugs. It has been expanding business not only in India but also in Europe, the US and several other markets across the world and is accelerating its global business development.
GRA was established by global logistics leader Agility to procure and develop certified diagnostic, testing and protective products and services used in the detection, treatment and prevention of COVID-19 and other public health threats.
Working with government agencies, non-governmental organisations and local regulatory authorities, GRA is providing Avigan® to qualified patients with COVID-19 on a compassionate-use basis for emergency treatment outside of ongoing clinical studies.
“Generic versions of Favipiravir are available on the market in India,” said Eric ten Kate, Head of Life Science at GRA. “Our focus is getting branded Avigan®, the premium version of the drug, to providers and patients who prefer the original formulation, which has a higher potency, fewer impurities and five times the shelf life. Our goal is to provide the safest, most effective version of Favipiravir available anywhere.”
Mitch Wilson, CEO of GRA said, “This is an important milestone in the regulatory approval process for Avigan. We are expecting further approvals in the near future and will be announcing multiple manufacturing locations globally to meet the growing demand.”
“The diligent and efficient work GRA and Dr Reddy’s are conducting is the reason we chose them as our partners,” said FUJIFILM President Toyama Junji Okada.
In July, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation of India’s Directorate General of Health Services approved Avigan® (favipiravir) tablets for distribution, sale and use in treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Avigan® was developed as influenza anti-viral by FujiFilm, which has licensed GRA and Dr Reddy’s to manufacture, distribute and sell the drug globally. Clinical trials of the drug have been conducted and are underway in the United States, Japan, China, the Middle East and other countries, where it is being used to reduce fevers and shorten recovery time in patients who receive Avigan® in the early stages of infection with COVID-19.