CSIR-IICT ties up with LAXAI Life Sciences to reduce dependency on China for APIs, key intermediates

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on April 25, 2020

Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, a constituent laboratory of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), is collaborating with an integrated pharmaceutical company LAXAI Life Sciences to jointly develop and manufacture Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and key intermediates.

The tie-up with Hyderabad company is to reduce the dependency of Indian pharmaceutical sector on Chinese imports.

Outbreak of Covid-19 has exposed the disproportionate reliance of the Indian pharmaceutical industry, third largest in the world by the volume of drugs produced, on the Chinese raw materials. With the delayed delivery and increased pricing pressure of these raw materials, Indian pharma sector is staring at supply shortages. Realising that drug security and undisrupted access to essential medicines is critical for public health, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has approved a special package for promotion of bulk drug manufacturing in India and reduction of our dependence on China.

LAXAI Life Sciences was established in 2007, with a vision to accelerate the discovery chemistry campaign of global pharmaceutical companies. Today, LAXAI has grown into an integrated pharma company with presence in API / formulation development as well as API manufacturing. LAXAI has access to USFDA/GMP manufacturing facilities through its subsidiary, Therapiva Private Limited.

S Chandrasekhar of CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology said IICT is working with LAXAI for synthesis of drugs being used in the fight against the Covid-19. The collaboration will primarily focus on Umifenovir, Remdesivir and a key intermediate of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). India, one of the largest producers of anti-malarial drug HCQ, has seen a spurt in demand in the recent weeks. India has sent HCQ to over 50 countries over the last few days, including the US.

“The collaboration will result in a cost-effective process with minimal dependency on China for key raw materials. In addition, Remdesivir, which has been previously administered to Ebola virus patients, is currently under clinical trials to evaluate efficacy and safety against Covid-19,” he said.

“The collaboration will use the know-how for commercial manufacturing of the products. LAXAI LifeSciences shall be one of the first few to commercialise these products. The manufacturing of these APIs and intermediates will be taken up at USFDA/GMP approved plants held by LAXAI through its subsidiary, Therapiva,” he said in a statement.

Published on April 24, 2020

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