India gives Hetero Labs and Cipla approval to make Gilead's COVID-19 drug

(Reuters) - The Indian drug agency has given Hetero Labs and Cipla Ltd the green light to manufacture and commercialize their generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc.'s experimental COVID-19 remdesivir, Indian pharmaceutical companies said on Sunday.
The drug, which is marketed under the brand name Covifor, is expected to be priced between 5,000 and 6,000 rupees ($ 66 to $ 79) for a dose of 100 milligrams, said Hetero.
India's Cipla said its generic version of Remdesivir will be called Cipremi.
The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) was not immediately available for comment.
Gilead Sciences Inc signed non-exclusive licensing deals with five generic companies in India and Pakistan last month to expand the range of its COVID-19 treatment.
The packages enable Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd., Cipla, Hetero Labs, Mylan NV and Ferozsons Laboratories Ltd. to manufacture and sell the drug in 127 countries.
Indian drug maker Zydus Cadila said last week that it had signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences to manufacture and commercialize remdesivir.
India reported a record jump in coronavirus infections on Saturday, an increase of 14,516 COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health said, increasing the number to 395,047 with 12,948 deaths.
(Reporting by Sabahatjahan Contractor in Bengaluru; editing by David Clarke and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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