Drug firm Jubilant Life Sciences on Monday said it has launched the generic version of antiviral drug remdesivir in India for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. The injectable drug, under the brand name 'JUBI-R', is priced at Rs 4,700 per vial of 100 mg. The company will make the drug available to over 1,000 hospitals providing COVID-19 treatment, Jubilant Life Sciences said in a statement.
In order to increase accessibility of the drug to patients below the poverty line and to front-line paramedical staff, Jubilant Bhartia Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation of the Jubilant Group, is launching programs in India aimed at its distribution, it added.
"We have launched the product at affordable prices and strive to make it available in sufficient quantities to meet high demand for the drug in the Indian market and in other countries," Jubilant Pharma Chairman and MD Shyam S Bhartia and Co-Chairman Hari S Bhartia said in the statement.
The company's ability to launch this product in such short timelines highlights "our R&D and manufacturing capabilities and our continued commitment to provide leading healthcare solutions", they added.
In May 2020, Jubilant entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc that granted it the right to register, manufacture and sell the US-based firm's investigational drug remdesivir in 127 countries, including India, the statement said.
On July 20, 2020, the company received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) to manufacture and market remdesivir for 100 mg/vial (lyophilized injection) for restricted emergency use in India for the treatment of severe COVID-19, it added.
The drug will require to be administered intravenously in a hospital setting under the supervision of a medical practitioner, the statement said.
Remdesivir is the only antiviral drug that has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalised with severe disease, it added.
Shares of Jubilant Life Sciences closed at Rs 862.30 per scrip on BSE, up 8.42 per cent from its previous close.