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January 3, 2022updated 07 Jan 2022 6:15am

Coronavirus company news summary – Emcure Pharma to launch molnupiravir in India – Ascletis expands production of ritonavir oral pill  

By Vishnu Priyan

The Drug Controller General of India has granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Emcure Pharmaceuticals for launching an experimental oral antiviral drug, molnupiravir, to treat mild Covid-19. Emcure intends to market the antiviral drug under the Lizuvira brand name in India. Developed by Merck Sharpe Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, molnupiravir hinders replication of several ribonucleic acid viruses including SARS-CoV-2. Last year, the company signed a licencing agreement with MSD to produce and market the drug in India as well as in more than 100 low and middle-income countries.

Ascletis Pharma has expanded the manufacturing of ritonavir oral tablets as well as oral direct-acting antiviral research and development pipeline to treat Covid-19. Presently, the pipeline comprises 100mg ritonavir oral tablet; ASC10, an oral inhibitor of ribonucleic acid (RNA)-dependent RNA polymerase and an oral inhibitor of 3-chymotrypsin like protease, ASC11. Ascletis’ ritonavir obtained approval from China National Medical Products Administration in September last year. Low dose ritonavir is an ingredient of Pfizer’s oral antiviral, Paxlovid.

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