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Recently, Elli Lilly, a US-based major Pharmaceutical company, has entered into licensing agreements with a number of Indian drug manufacturers for the manufacture of and supply of Baricitinib in India which is showing promise as a drug for the treatment of Covid-19.
The licensing agreement with Eli Lilly is voluntary, royalty-free, and non-exclusive in nature for the manufacture and commercialization of the drug in India. The Indian companies receiving the licensing deals are:
- Sun Pharmaceuticals
- Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
- MSN Laboratories
- Torrent Pharmaceuticals
- BDR Pharma
- Natco Pharma
Baricitinib is essentially a drug approved in the US and European Union, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis in adults whose disease was not well controlled using other rheumatoid arthritis medications called tumor necrosis factor antagonist. It acts as an inhibitor of Janus kinase (JAK), blocking the subtypes JAK1 and JAK2, and can relieve the symptoms of pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints and slow the joint damage that rheumatoid arthritis can cause.
In India, under certain regulated conditions, Baricitinib has shown to prevent oxygen breathlessness in patients and has been approved for emergency use. According to some experts, it has also proven to be effective in preventing a Cytokine storm. The USFDA too permitted Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for the combination of baricitinib with remdesivir, for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalized people two years of age or older requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)