DGDA approves 1st oral Covid medicine `Paxovir` in Bangladesh
Published: 07:27 PM, 30 December 2021 Updated: 08:37 PM, 30 December 2021
Oral Covid-19 drug Paxovir; Photo: Collected
Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) has approved for the emergency use of the oral Covid-19 drug Paxovir for the first time in country. The drug will be manufactured by Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Limited, one of the leading pharmaceutical companies in Bangladesh.
This is the world's first generic version of Nirmatrelvir tablets co-packaged with Ritonavir tablets -- with the brand name "Paxovir".
Officials from the Directorate General of Drug Administration confirmed the information to the media on Thursday afternoon.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the emergency use of Nirmatrelvir and Ritonavir tablets for corona treatment. Adults, as well as children aged up to 12 years, can take this medicine.
Eskayef is manufacturing Paxovir from its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, which is approved by UKMHRA, TGA Australia and EU GMP. After completing all development procedures, Eskayef has received emergency use authorization from the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) of Bangladesh.
Simeen Rahman, Managing Director and CEO of Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Limited, said, "When the entire world is waiting for an oral anti-Covid medicine with higher success rate, we are pleased to launch Paxovir as the world's first generic Nirmatrelvir and Ritonavir combination for the people of Bangladesh and across the world."
"Ensuring every possible treatment option against Covid-19 is core to our purpose of serving humanity during this darkest era of the century. This promising new treatment option is definitely a significant step in fighting the battle against Covid-19," she added.
Paxovir can be administrated to high-risk Covid-19 positive adults and children, who are aged at least 12 years and weigh at least 40 kg, according to their doctor's advice. The results from a clinical trial involving more than 2,200 people at high risk for developing serious Covid-19 found Nirmatrelvir and Ritonavir tablets reduced the risk of hospitalisation or death by 89%, compared with a placebo, when taken within three days of first symptoms of illness. When taken within five days, the drug reduced the risk of hospitalisation and death by 88%.
Eskayef took the same approach in case of Remivir, the world's first generic Remdesivir brand, which was launched immediately after US FDA approval. The company launched world's first generic Molnupiravir with the brand name "Monuvir" just within 4 days of its emergency use authorisation by UK MHRA.
Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Limited is one of the organisations of Transcom Group, founded by the late Latifur Rahman. For the past 31 years, Eskayef has been manufacturing drugs with a reputation and exporting them to 65 countries around the world.