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2 Indian drug makers working on anti-corona drugs

Two Mumbai-based companies – BDR Pharma & LASA Supergenerics – are developing antiviral molecule Favipiravir, a drug that has shown to aid the recovery of Covid-19 patients in a trial conducted in China. BDR Pharma makes anti-HIV and Hepatitis C medication while LASA Supergenerics is an active pharmaceutical ingredient maker.

“We took a shot on the Favipiravir drug as there is no patent that binds us in discovering its efficacy. Also, the initial data seems promising,” Dharmesh Shah, chairman of BDR Pharma told reporters. 

The companies however, need to overcome a few obstacles before the product hits the market. For example, BDR, which has already started lab work to get the initial samples out, faces the hurdle of getting the actual reference product shipped from China. CEO Omkar Herlekar of LASA Supergenerics, which is working with the Institute of Chemical Technology, has written to many government authorities about his grievances in getting clearances for his consignment. The company has also urged the Indian Council of Medical Research to consider the efficacy of the apparently anti-coronavirus drug and recommend fast-track approval for importing the raw material and manufacturing the drug.