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Five China Pharmas to Supply Generic COVID-19 Therapy to Low Income Countries

publication date: Mar 18, 2022
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD

Five China pharmas have signed up in a global effort to manufacture a generic version of Pfizer's oral COVID-19 treatment, nirmatrelvir, for use in 95 low and middle-income countries. The five China companies are part of a 35 member group formed by Medicines Patent Pool to manufacture and deliver the drug in low resource areas. Pfizer signed a licensing agreement with MPP to provide the drug to the countries, which represent 54% of the world's population. China is not included in the list of low income countries.

The five pharmaceutical companies are Zhejiang Huahai Pharma, Apeloa Pharma, Fosun Pharma, Zhejiang Jiuzhou Pharma and Shanghai Desano Pharma. Jiuzhou will focus on producing the drug substance, while the others will produce both the drug substance and finished product.

Yifang Wu, Chairman and CEO of Fosun Pharma said that the company is pleased to reach an agreement with the MPP to help supply global access to COVID-19 medicines. "Fosun Pharma is committed to improving the accessibility of COVID-19 drugs in low-income countries and will continue to make contributions to global efforts to combat the disease," Wu said in a statement.

The MPP license from Pfizer aims to provide new medicines such as nirmatrelvir as soon as possible at affordable prices in low- and middle-income countries. The non-exclusive sublicense will allow generic manufacturers to produce the raw ingredients for nirmatrelvir and/or the finished drug itself, co-packaged with ritonavir, according to the MPP.

Disclosure: none.





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