Beximco Pharma introduces generic version of Pfizer's Paxlovid against Covid

This antiviral pill showed almost 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients

Beximco Pharma has announced the launch of the world's first generic version of Pfizer's Paxlovid, the first US FDA approved oral therapy for Covid-19 treatment.

Availability of generic nirmatrelvir and ritonavir tablets (co-packaged for oral use),  which was granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the US FDA on 22 December 2021 will provide affordable treatment options and increase accessibility as new variants emerge, said a press release on Thursday.

Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA), Bangladesh granted EUA for the oral antiviral drug on December 30, 2021, to treat mild-to-moderate Covid-19 in adults and children of 12 years and above.

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This novel antiviral pill showed almost 90% efficacy in preventing hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients, and recent data from Pfizer suggests the drug retains its effectiveness against the fast-spreading Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Beximco Pharma will market this product under the brand name Bexovid, initially in Bangladesh. Nirmatrelvir inhibits a SARS-CoV-2 enzyme to stop the virus from replicating, and ritonavir slows down nirmatrelvir's breakdown to help it remain in the body for a longer period at higher concentrations.

The treatment is given as two tablets of nirmatrelvir and one tablet of ritonavir together twice a day for five days. Bexovid is available by prescription only and should be initiated as soon as possible after the diagnosis of Covid-19 and within five days of symptom onset.

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Nazmul Hassan, managing director of Beximco Pharmaceuticals, commented: "Having previously introduced the world's first generic Covid-19 treatments of remdesivir and molnupiravir, we are pleased to add this breakthrough therapy to our portfolio. It is a further testament to our commitment to making affordable treatments accessible as soon as possible.”

“As data continues to emerge demonstrating the effectiveness of nirmatrelvir and ritonavir against the fast-emerging Omicron variant, we believe that Bexovid has the potential to be a powerful tool in combating the ongoing pandemic," he added.

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