Mumbai-based Cipla, which reported a one-time cost of Rs 200 crore for Covid-19 inventory and other charges in the March quarter (Q4), is sitting on inventory of the antibody cocktail drug from Roche, some bulk drug of remdesivir, and some stocks of molnupiravir. The Covid-19 portfolio contributed 5-6 per cent of Cipla’s turnover during peak Covid waves, the firm said.
Speaking to the media, Umang Vohra, managing director and global chief executive officer of Cipla, said most of the inventory is in the raw material side. “For example, the remdesivir bulk drug has a five-year shelf life. We can make remdesivir again whenever there is demand from hospitalised patients.” Vohra added that the bulk of the inventory is of the antibody cocktail from Roche – casrivimab and imdevimab – that Cipla had launched in India in May 2021.
Other drugs like Tocilizumab, a Roche drug, have alternative usages, and thus can be liquidated. The firm also has a tie-up to make Pfizer’s oral Covid-19 drug Paxlovid. Vohra said the firm will work to secure approval from the Indian drug regulator as well as regulators in other countries. “We will also keep some bulk drug ready. That way we can launch whenever there is demand for the drug,” Vohra said.