Hyderabad, India–based Zenara Pharma has launched a generic version of Pfizer’s (NYSE:PFE) COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir).
Zenara Pharma is naming the generic version of the pill “Paxzen.”
The antiviral is indicated for mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.
India’s Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) cleared the way for authorization of the drug in the country by approving the generic antiviral last month.
FDA authorized Paxlovid in December 2021. Pfizer signaled its intent to seek full approval of the drug in late June.
Zenara Pharma will manufacture its version of the drug at an FDA- and EU-approved facility in Hyderabad.
The company plans to sell the drug at a maximum retail price of 5,200 rupees per box. One box contains 20 tablets (150 ml) of nirmatrelvir and 10 tablets of ritonavir (100 mg).
“We have launched this product in India with an aim to bring the best treatment options against COVID within reach of patients in our country,” said Jagadeesh Babu Rangisetty, co-founder and managing director at Zenara Pharma, in a news release. “Our product, Paxzen, has been proven equivalent to Paxlovid through a bioequivalence study, based on which we have received the approval from the regulatory authorities.
Zenara Pharma is a subsidiary of Biophore India Pharmaceuticals.
The analyst firm GlobalData team anticipates that Paxlovid will generate $81 billion in revenue from 2021 to 2028.
Pfizer expects the drug to have sales of $22 billion in 2022.
The initial use of the drug was limited to individuals with an elevated risk of severe COVID-19. The company notes that 40-50% of people globally are likely to face a high risk of contracting severe COVID-19.
The WHO recommended Paxlovid for people with a mild or moderate COVID-19 illness with an elevated risk of hospitalization.
Paxlovid has found more widespread use than Merck’s COVID-19 antiviral molnupiravir.