New Delhi, May 13: Drug firm Eli Lilly and Company on Thursday said it has inked voluntary licensing agreements with three Indian drug firms -- Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy's and MSN Laboratories -- to expedite availability of Baricitinib for treatment of COVID-19 patients in India.

The company has issued additional royalty-free, non-exclusive voluntary licences to Dr Reddy's, MSN Laboratories and Torrent Pharmaceuticals, who will be collaborating with Lilly to accelerate and expand the availability of Baricitinib in India, Eli Lilly and Company said in a statement.

"These three additional voluntary licensing agreements will ensure high quality manufacturing and accessibility of Baricitinib during this pandemic improving the local treatment options available to positively impact the lives of people who are currently battling COVID-19 in India," it added. COVAXIN Phase 2 and 3 Trials for 2–18 Age Group Get DCGI Nod, Bharat Biotech To Conduct Trials on 525 Healthy Volunteers.

The company on Monday had announced signing voluntary licensing agreements with Sun Pharma, Cipla and Lupin. Eli Lilly and Company has received permission for restricted emergency use by the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO), for Baricitinib to be used in combination with Remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in hospitalised adults requiring supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the statement said.

"Lilly is committed to supporting India in this healthcare challenge through our innovative and effective portfolio of breakthrough medicines," Luca Visini, Managing Director, India Subcontinent, Lilly India said. This is in addition to the donations being offered by Lilly to the Indian government, he added. COVID-19 Vaccination in India: Bharat Biotech Commences Direct Supply of ‘Covaxin’ to 14 States.

"We will continue to explore other possible initiatives to support patients and the healthcare system in India,” Visini said. Meanwhile, Eli Lilly and Company continues to engage in active dialogue with the regulatory authorities and government in India to donate its anti-COVID-19 treatments, including neutralising antibodies, the statement said.