January 20, 2022: “Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited, the fast-growing manufacturer of generic pharmaceutical products and active pharmaceutical ingredients, announces that the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) has expanded its network of partnered generic manufacturers to include Beximco Pharma.
Under the partnership, the Company becomes one of the first Bangladeshi companies to be granted a sub-license by the MPP to produce molnupiravir, an oral drug for the treatment of COVID-19, originally developed by MSD, a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc, Kenilworth, NJ, USA, and in partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Molnupiravir is an oral antiviral to treat symptomatic COVID-19, which received conditional marketing authorization in the UK from the UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency on 4 November 2021 and received Emergency Use Authorization in the US from the US Food and Drug Administration on 23 December 2021.
The sub-license agreement is a result of the voluntary licensing agreement signed by the MPP and MSD in October 2021 to facilitate affordable global access for molnupiravir, which MSD is developing in partnership with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
Under this agreement, MPP may sub-license the production of the drug to global generic drug manufacturers to ensure a steady supply in different regions of the world.
Beximco Pharma will manufacture molnupiravir in Bangladesh and expects to start domestic distribution and export from the end of 2022, following successful technology transfer and manufacturing regulatory approvals, under license from MPP.
The Company will continue to sell its own generic version of molnupiravir (Emorivir), as announced on 9 November 2021, under the World Trade Organization’s Least Developed Country (LDC) waiver in the meantime.
Managing Director of Beximco Pharma, Nazmul Hassan MP, commented:
“Since the start of the pandemic, we have remained committed to assessing opportunities to increase the access and affordability of COVID-19 treatments for patients.
As such, we are delighted to have been granted a sub-license to produce molupiravir by the United Nations-backed Medicines Patent Pool.
To partner with such a prestigious organisation is testament to the quality of our manufacturing capabilities and is also aligned to our corporate mission by enabling broad access to this oral treatment in many low- and middle-income countries.”