Reducing Dependency on China Imports: IICT, LAXAI LifeSciences tie-up for key pharma intermediate
The collaboration will primarily focus on Umifenovir, Remdesivir, and a key intermediate of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)
Hyderabad: The Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, is collaborating with another city-based LAXAI LifeSciences to jointly develop and manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Intermediates to reduce the dependency of Indian Pharma sector on Chinese imports.
"IICT is working with LAXAI for the synthesis of drugs being used in the fight against the coronavirus. The collaboration will primarily focus on Umifenovir, Remdesivir, and a key intermediate of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)," an official release said here on Friday. India, one of the largest producers of anti-malarial drug HCQ, has seen a spurt in demand in recent weeks and exported the medicine to over 50 countries, including the USA during the last few days.
The collaboration will result in a cost-effective process with minimal dependency on China for key raw materials. In addition, Remdesivir, which has been previously administered to Ebola virus patients, is currently under clinical trials to evaluate efficacy and safety against COVID-19, the IICT said.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has exposed the disproportionate reliance of the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry, the third-largest in the world by the volume of drugs produced, on the Chinese raw materials, the release said. With the delayed delivery and increased pricing pressure of these raw materials, the Indian pharma sector is staring at supply shortages, it said.
Realizing that drug security and undisrupted access to essential medicines is critical for public health, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a special package for promotion of Bulk drug manufacturing in India and reduction of our dependence on China, the release.
The collaboration will use the know-how for the commercial manufacturing of the products. LAXAI Life Sciences shall be one of the first few to commercialize these products. The manufacturing of these APIs and intermediates will be taken up at USFDA/GMP approved plants held by LAXAI through its subsidiary, Therapiva private limited, the release said.