India to supply half-a - million vials of COVID - 19 drug remdesivir

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BENGALURU, April 28 - Syngene International Ltd aims to supply half-a-million vials of the PMR - 19 drug remdesivir through its local distribution partners next month as the country faces shortages of the medicine amid a second wave.

At the moment we are operating at near maximal capacity Chief Executive Jonathan Hunt told Reuters on Wednesday.

I'd expect the volume of drug, which we are supplying into Indian market, to increase with every month, he added.

Hunt have not provided details on how many vials they have already delivered to the company.

Syngene, which is owned majority by biopharmaceutical company Biocon Ltd., is one of the seven Indian companies that have licensed remdesivir from US-based Gilead Sciences Inc. to India. The seven companies have a maximum installed capacity of about 3.9 million units per month.

Among the seven manufacturers, maybe one of the smallest by capacity but you see everyone working round the clock. to boost the supply, said Hunt.

This follows the announcement on Monday that it would donate a minimum of 450,000 vials of the drug to the Indian government.

On Wednesday, the cost of the pandemic crossed the 200,000 mark and is worsened by the shortages of medical beds and hospital oxygen.

Remdesivir is approved in India for the limited use of severe COVID-19 cases to treat severe infections, despite the World Health Organisation warning against using the drug due to doubts about its effectiveness in treating the infection. The Indian health officials have said it is only to be used in a hospital setting for patients who need oxygen.

Syngene, which is headquartered in the global technology hub of Bengaluru, offers contract research and manufacturing to southern drugmakers. Its clients include the U.S. pharma companies Amgen Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.

The company reported a 33.6% rise in fourth-quarter profit to 1.61 billion rupees last on Tuesday.

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