Beximco Pharmaceuticals has launched a generic molnupiravir, an oral antiviral drug for symptomatic Covid-19 patients developed by Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, following Emergency Use Authorisation by the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), the regulatory authority in Bangladesh.
Molnupiravir is world’s first oral product to treat symptomatic Covid-19, which was approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in early November 2021. Molnupiravir is currently under review by several other regulatory authorities, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As an oral treatment that can be administered at home, molnupiravir has the potential to impact the treatment of Covid-19. Data published by MSD suggest that it may cut the risk of hospitalisation and death by half, with 7.3% of molnupiravir patients hospitalised after 29 days compared to 14.1% of patients who were treated with placebo.
With the launch of a branded generic version, Emorivir, Beximco Pharma says it is helping to broaden access and reduce cost of this treatment option, which could benefit unvaccinated or immunosuppressed patients.
Nazmul Hassan, Managing Director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, said: “Further to our launch of the first generic remdesivir at the start of the pandemic, the launch of a generic version of molnupiravir, the world’s first oral antiviral drug to treat Covid-19, is another example of Beximco Pharma’s ability to rapidly respond to make affordable treatments available to patients suffering from Covid-19. This is a great achievement for the company and one which we believe could play an important role in combating the pandemic, especially in low- and middle-income countries where access to vaccines has been limited.”
Image credit: Volodymyr Hrysh