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June 29, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Dr Reddy’s unveils new Covid-19 drug – Redhill’s Opaganib effective against Covid-19 variants

By Darcy Jimenez

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories has unveiled 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), an oral drug produced by the Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences in collaboration with Dr Reddy’s for treating hospitalised moderate-to-severe Covid-19 patients. The emergency use authorised drug will be supplied by the company to major government, as well as private hospitals across India. Initially, it will be available only in hospitals across metros and Tier 1 cities, before coverage is expanded to the rest of the country. The 2-DG drug has a purity of 99.5% and is being sold under the brand name 2DGTM.

RedHill Biopharma has announced preliminary results of a new preclinical study that demonstrated the high efficacy of Opaganib, an investigational oral pill, against Covid-19 variants of concern. It was found to strongly prevent the Beta (South African) and Gamma (Brazilian) variants, as well as the Delta (Indian) variant. The dual antiviral and anti-inflammatory drug exerts its antiviral effect by selectively inhibiting sphingosine kinase-2, a key enzyme produced in human cells that can be employed by the virus for replication. Positive results from the US Phase II study have led to the enrolment of 475 patients in a Phase II/III study of hospitalised Covid-19 patients, which is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.

Pharmaceutical company Huons Global has stated that its South Korean consortium is working on producing the single-dose Sputnik Light Covid-19 vaccine from September this year. The plan was initiated after a request made by the Russian Direct Investment Fund , which distributes and sells the vaccine. Huons further announced that the production would take place along with Sputnik V vaccines, which the consortium intended to make for the sovereign wealth fund. The company had committed to produce 100 million doses of the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine every month for export in April, as Moscow increased its production to meet global demand.

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