New Delhi, May 19: Drug firm BDR Pharma on Wednesday said it has inked a licensing pact with Eli Lilly and Company for the manufacturing and distribution of Baricitinib for the treatment of COVID-19 in India. The company said it has entered into a royalty-free, limited and non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreement with Eli Lilly and Company.

Baricitinib has received restricted emergency use approval, for use in combination with Remdesivir, for treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalised adults and pediatric patients two years of age or older, requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Eli Lilly has received the permission for the drug for restricted emergency use from Central Drugs Standard Control Organization, a division of the Ministry of Health. Eli Lilly Inks Pacts for COVID-19 Drug Baricitinib with Torrent Pharma, Dr Reddy's, MSN Labs.

Baricitinib is an oral medication currently registered in India for the treatment of moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis in adult patients who have responded inadequately to, or who are intolerant to one or more disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs.

"We hope this collaboration will address more unmet medical needs by broadening and deepening the discovery and development of COVID-19 treatments options," BDR Pharmaceuticals Chairman Dharmesh Shah said in a statement.

BDR has applied for restricted emergency use approval with the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for baricitinib for COVID-19 in India.

Lilly has already announced seven voluntary license agreements with major local generic drug manufacturers in India for the production of the same. COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibodies Cut Hospitalisation, Death Risk by 60%: Study.

“Lilly is committed to supporting India in this healthcare challenge through our innovative and effective portfolio of breakthrough medicines. We are swiftly working to ensure high quality manufacturing and equitable access of Baricitinib for COVID-19 in India. We will continue to explore other possible initiatives to support patients and the healthcare system in India,” Lilly India Managing Director (India Subcontinent) Luca Visini said.