New Delhi, Jan 20 (PTI) Natco Pharma Ltd on Thursday said it has signed a non-exclusive license agreement with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), Switzerland to manufacture and sell Molnupiravir capsules 200 mg for treatment of COVID-19.

MPP had taken licence from Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp (MSD), USA for the same, the company said in a statement.

Natco said with this licence agreement it can manufacture and sell Molnupiravir capsules 200 mg for Indian market, which will be sold under brand name MOLNUNAT for treatment of COVID-19 infection in patients who have high risk of progression of the disease including hospitalisation or death.

It further said, “This agreement allows Natco to expand access to COVID-19 medicines in 105 countries in generic name. Under the licence, Natco can set its own price for the generic products it produces, paying a royalty on sales to MSD,” the company said in a regulatory filing.

However, MSD, Ridgeback Biotherapeutics and Emory University will not receive royalties for sales of Molnupiravir under this agreement for as long as COVID-19 remains classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization, it added.

In December last year the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) had allowed anti-COVID-19 pill Molnupiravir for emergency use in the country. However, ICMR’s National Task Force for COVID-19 had last week decided against including the antiviral drug in the Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 citing safety concerns. PTI RKL MKJ

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