Sun Pharma share hits new 52-week high after firm wins licence to make Covid-19 drug


Shares of Sun Pharma Industries rose over 3 per cent to hit a new 52-week high of Rs 721.90 in the morning session after the pharma major announced that it has entered into a royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreement with US-based Eli Lilly for expanding access to Lilly’s drug, Baricitinib in India.

At 11:11 hours, Sun Pharma share was quoting at Rs 712.65, up 2.08 per cent on the BSE. The pharma major has gained 54 per cent in one year and risen 20 per cent since the beginning of this year.

The three Indian drugmakers – Cipla Ltd, Lupin Ltd, and Sun Pharma will collaborate with Lilly to manufacture and distribute Baricitinib in India. The drug is approved by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) for restricted emergency use in India.

Shares of Cipla opened in green at Rs 901 against previous close of Rs 900.25 on BSE. The stock hit an intra-day low of Rs 888.65 and an intra-day high of 905.95 so far. Lupin share opened with a loss of 0.62 per cent at Rs 1,215.20 against previous close of Rs 1,222.80 on BSE. The stock has gained 43.46 per cent in one year and risen 25 per cent since the beginning of this year.  

Baricitinib is used in combination with Remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalised adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

“Through this collaboration, we aim to join our forces with Lilly to accelerate access to Baricitinib in India at a time when it is most needed. This is another step by Sun Pharma towards making more treatment options available to patients in India for dealing with the pandemic,” said Kirti Ganorkar, CEO-India business, Sun Pharma.

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“These voluntary licensing agreements will ensure high-quality manufacturing and accessibility of Baricitinib during this pandemic improving the local treatment options available to positively impact the lives of people who are currently battling COVID-19 in India,” said Eli Lilly.

“The discussions were also taking place with other Indian players for the grant of voluntary licenses to manufacture Baricitinib, which has recently found favor among clinicians for the treatment of Covid-19,” it added.

“During the current surging Covid-19 pandemic, we have responded by issuing three voluntary licenses for Baricitinib by pharmaceutical companies in India to accelerate its local manufacturing and distribution under best quality conditions. More licenses to additional Indian generic manufacturers are expected to be announced soon,” said Luca Visini, Managing Director – India Subcontinent, Eli Lilly India.

“Lilly is committed to supporting India in this healthcare challenge through our innovative and effective portfolio of breakthrough medicines,” Visini added.

Baricitinib, a once-daily, oral JAK inhibitor was discovered by Incyte and licensed to Lilly. It is approved in the US and more than 75 countries as a treatment for adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis and was recently approved in the European Union and Japan for the treatment of adult patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis who are candidates for systemic therapy.