NONS Shows Potential to Stop Glenmark Pharmaceuticals
The firm, which has tasted success with its oral antiviral drug Favipiravir, is now betting on NONS to drive revenue from its COVID-19 portfolio.
In the first quarter, Covid-19 revenues accounted for less than 10 per cent of Glenmark’s business. Favipiravir alone sold for around Rs 350 crore, leading to a 57 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth in India business. what’s more? FabiFlu (Glenmark’s brand of favipiravir) has a margin of 35 per cent.
Glenmark has tied up with Canadian biotech firm SaNOtize to manufacture, market and distribute its NONS for Covid-19 treatment in India and other Asian markets. Glenmark aims to launch NONS under the Fabispray brand in the second half of the 2021-22 financial year.
The regulator has allowed Glenmark to start Phase III trials of the product with the stipulation that anyone vaccinated against COVID-19 should be excluded from the disease.
Glenmark Managing Director and CEO Glenn Saldanha said a major clinical trial by SaNOtize was being conducted on more than 4,000 people in Canada to see if the drug could also help in the prevention of COVID-19. works. “If tests show that it works in prevention, it has many uses. For example, nitric oxide, which is also produced by the body, is safe. Offices, schools, colleges and local trains resume operations. With this, there will be widespread and frequent use of nasal sprays,” Saldanha said.
In India, Glenmark is testing the drug on COVID patients to see its effect on treatment. The tests are thus on mild COVID positive patients.
Saldanha hopes that data from a larger Canadian trial may also be helpful in showing that the drug has preventive properties. “We can take advantage of the data from the Canadian trial,” he said.
NONS is designed to kill the coronavirus in the upper airway, preventing it from incubating and spreading to the lungs. A company spokesperson said, “It is based on nitric oxide, a natural nanomolecule that has anti-microbial properties, and has a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.” Is.”
In March, clinical trials of SaNOtize showed that NONS was a safe and effective antiviral treatment that significantly reduced the viral load in COVID-19 patients and reduced the severity of symptoms.
“In the first 24 hours, NONS reduced the average viral load by about 95 percent and then by more than 99 percent within 72 hours. It has been tested in healthy volunteers and patients as part of UK and Canada clinical trials,” claimed the spokesperson.
NONS will also be priced lower in India than the global benchmark pricing, Saldanha said, adding that they were already working on technology transfer from a Canadian firm to make the product here. “The starting dose will be imported and eventually, we will make it here.”
However, COVID-19 sales are seasonal. With the decline in cases, the demand for such acute medical drugs is also decreasing. Thus, Glenmark plans to launch new products in its key medical areas – Diabetes, Cardio-vascular, Respiratory, Dermatology and Oncology.
Currently, the respiratory segment, where the company has strong brands such as Ascoril and Alex, contributes around 25-30 per cent of the business, while cardiovascular accounts for another 25 per cent. The anti-diabetic segment contributes about 10-15 percent and dermatology another 30 percent.
Saldanha says there are plans to launch at least two new products in the anti-diabetic field soon, without giving further details.
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