Glenmark gets regulatory approval for Favipiravir to treat Covid-19: Launches FabiFlu


India-based Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has secured regulatory approval for the manufacturing and marketing of antiviral drug Favipiravir under the brand name FabiFlu to treat mild to moderate Covid-19. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the use of Favipiravir only for emergency use in treating mild to moderate cases of Covid-19 infection.

According to the company, Favipiravir demonstrated promising clinical evidence, with positive results in mild to moderate Covid-19 cases. Clinical improvement was observed in age groups of 20 to > 90 years.

The drug is said to provide a rapid decrease in viral load within four days, along with quicker symptomatic and radiological improvement. Favipiravir demonstrated up to 88% of clinical improvement in patients with mild to moderate Covid-19.

Glenmark said that mild to moderate Covid-19 patients with co-morbid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease can also use the drug.

If the drug proves to be efficacious for Covid-19 treatment, Glenmark will cash in on first-mover advantage. This will likely boost the company’s sales and there is no visibility on the impact of the drug on the company’s business and is expected to have a ramp-up in drug sales independent on a load of patients and how the pandemic develops.

It is moderately priced as compared to the competing drug Remdesivir, which too has received emergency drug approval for a treatment for Covid-19 with severe conditions and is likely to be made available by June end at around Rs 5,000 a dose while Favipiravir priced at Rs 103 a tablet and Rs 3,500 for the complete course of medication.

Glenmark Pharma’s domestic sales may get a boost in the near term as the company has received approval for the manufacturing and marketing of Favipiravir. In recent years, high expenses towards R&D and headwinds to its US business have adversely impacted them. The Glenmark stock is trading at a historically lower valuation of 16 times its trailing four quarters consolidated earnings which is less than half of the price-to-earnings multiple of 35 of the ET Pharma Index.

The launch of this anti-viral drug has the potential to be a game-changer for Glenmark’s fortunes on the Street as well as off it. The company has been on a restructuring mode with a reduction in R&D expenses and employee cost and reduction in debt is going to be the key confirmation for the Street to buy into the company’s turnaround story.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here