INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) – Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) are stepping up efforts to help India cope with a worsening COVID-19 pandemic. Lilly says she is donating 400,000 doses of baricitinib to the Indian government for COVID-19 patients who are hospitalized.
The World Health Organization reported Tuesday that India has registered nearly 360,000 new cases of the disease in the past 24 hours.
Lilly says the therapy is combined with remdesivir, which is made by Gilead Sciences Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD), California.
On Monday, the Indian Medicines Agency granted Lilly’s treatment emergency approval for use in hospitalized COVID-19 patients who need supplemental oxygen or for patients on ventilators.
“With the COVID-19 crisis ravaging India, hospitals are overwhelmed with the number of cases and patients are in need of access to potentially life-saving treatments such as baricitinib,” said David Ricks, Lilly Chairman and CEO. “We hope that our donations, as well as our collaboration with other organizations, will accelerate access to baricitinib and provide treatment options for these patients.”
The drug maker said it would work urgently to “diversify” the supply in tablet form in the coming weeks.
In addition to the initial donation, Lilly is working with local Indian pharmaceutical companies to enter into royalty-free voluntary licensing agreements to expedite the manufacture and distribution of the drug in India during the pandemic.
Last fall, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of baricitinib in conjunction with remdesivir.