By Colin Kellaher

 

Eli Lilly & Co. on Tuesday said it is donating hundreds of thousands of doses of baricitinib to the Indian government, as the nation of more than 1.3 billion people grapples with a massive Covid-19 surge.

The Indianapolis drug maker said India's government approved restricted emergency use of the drug, which the company markets as Olumiant for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, as a Covid-19 therapy via donations and licensing agreements.

The company said it is making an initial donation of 400,000 baricitinib tablets immediately available to the Indian government for eligible hospitalized Covid-19 patients, adding that it is working with Indian pharmaceutical companies to execute royalty-free voluntary licensing agreements to speed production and distribution of drug during the pandemic.

Eli Lilly said the emergency authorization covers the use of baricitinib in hospitalized Covid-19 patients who need supplemental oxygen, invasive mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in November authorized the emergency use of baricitinib in combination with Gilead Sciences Inc.'s remdesivir for Covid-19 patients needing supplemental oxygen or on a mechanical ventilator.

 

Write to Colin Kellaher at colin.kellaher@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 04, 2021 08:17 ET (12:17 GMT)

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