Five Chinese pharmaceutical manufacturers have signed contracts with a UN-backed organization to manufacture low-cost generic versions of Pfizer’s Covid-19 pill Paxlovid for export, reports Caixin. The companies are Shanghai Desano Pharmaceuticals, Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical, Apeloa Pharmaceutical, Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical and Zhejiang Jiuzhou Pharmaceutical. They are among 35 global drugmakers lined up to supply generic Paxlovid for poorer countries.
Pfizer signed a voluntary license agreement in November with the Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), a UN-backed public health organization working to increase access to life-saving medicines for lower-income countries. Pfizer won’t receive royalties from sales covered by the pact as long as Covid remains classified as an international public-health emergency by the UN’s World Health Organization, according to the patent pool.
China is not on the MPP’s list of low- and middle-income countries, so the drugs made by the five Chinese companies will be only for export. China Meheco Corp separately secured a partnership with Pfizer Inc. to commercialize Paxlovid in China, the state-owned drugmaker said last week.