Arab News Headlines

Fast-Selling COVID-19 Treatment Avigan Made Available in UAE

Local partnership focused on ensuring COVID-19 patients have the best chance of recovery

DUBAI, UAE, Oct. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — AiPharma owned Global Response Aid (GRA) and Pharmax, both leading Dubai-based healthcare solutions providers, have partnered to supply the proven COVID-19 treatment, Avigan (Favipiravir), in the UAE. It allows patients with mild to moderate symptoms to be treated at home, easing the pressure on hospitals.

Favipiravir was added to the list of approved therapeutics in the Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) National Guidelines for Clinical Management and Treatment of COVID-19 in June 2020. The DHA recognises the drug as an effective treatment option for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. Avigan is the branded version of Favipiravir, a broad-spectrum anti-viral in oral tablet form originally developed by FujiFilm Toyama Chemical and approved in Japan for pandemic influenza.

Avigan has received full marketing authorization or emergency use authorisation in a number of markets as a treatment for COVID-19 including Mexico, India, Indonesia, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Malaysia, with many other countries buying the drug under compassionate use programmes including the United Kingdom,, Greece, Hungary and Saudi Arabia. Worldwide sales of Avigan have risen from $9m in Q1 to more than $150m in Q3 2021. It has and continues to be stockpiled by governments and in the past 12 months 80m tablets have been stockpiled

GRA, which has joint marketing and distribution rights to Avigan globally outside Japan, China and Russia, is now dealing with unprecedented demand for the drug. Third-quarter 2021 orders have topped more than $150M and continue to grow.

Pharmax, one of the region’s leading manufacturers and distributors of high-quality medications,  has partnered with GRA to lead Avigan regulatory, sales and distribution efforts in the UAE. Together, Pharmax and GRA delivered 1.2 million tablets to the Emirates this week for Abu Dhabi-based ADQ’s affiliate RAFED. Since delivery of this order, RAFED has awared a further tender for millions of tablets.

“We have been working with the GRA and AiPharma teams to bring Avigan to the UAE to meet the patient and market demand for an effective COVID-19 treatment,” said Dr. Madhukar Tanna, CEO of Pharmax. “Bringing this drug to the UAE market has never been more vital given the current and potential future surges of COVID-19.”

“This RAFED order secured by Pharmax is an important milestone in our efforts to the address COVID-19 pandemic. Avigan is effective in helping patients recover faster. That, in turn, conserves healthcare resources and helps contain further spread of this deadly virus,” said Dr. Alessandro Gadotti, CEO of AiPharma. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have worked tirelessly to deliver solutions to meet the global health crisis. Government health authorities in many countries are investing in Avigan because they understand the need to have an arsenal of different therapeutics to treat different patient populations. We will continue to work closely with excellent partners like Pharmax to ensure all patients have the best chance of recovery.”

Avigan is a highly effective oral anti-viral that is administered at home, early in the course of infection, to prevent transmission of the virus and hospitalization.

With more than 40 clinical studies (16 in the United States) conducted prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Avigan has a very well-understood safety profile. As recently announced by GRA, a Phase 3 US-Canada clinical trial, PRESECO (PREventing SEvere COVID-19,) of the anti-viral will continue evaluating its efficacy for treatment of patients with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

About Global Response Aid (GRA)

AiPharma, an innovative pharma research, development and commercialization company and Agility (KSE/DFM: AGLTY), one of the world’s leading logistics companies established Global Response Aid (GRA) to address the market challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and other threats to public health. GRA delivers innovative, effective healthcare solutions through a range of pharmaceutical products and technology platforms. It works closely with governments, regulatory authorities, hospitals, clinics, healthcare providers, life sciences companies, NGOs and public institutions to develop strategies that allow them to tackle public health challenges.

About AiPharma

AiPharma is a biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing innovative antiviral therapies to treat diseases for unmet patient needs across a broad spectrum of infectious diseases. Currently, AiPharma is focused on the clinical and commercial development of orally-available, potent, and selective nucleotide prodrugs for difficult-to-treat, life-threatening viral infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, dengue virus, hepatitis C virus (HCV) and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

About Pharmax Pharmaceuticals:

Pharmax Pharmaceuticals provides access to affordable, branded generic medication. Committed to exceeding the expectations of healthcare providers, practitioners and patients, Pharmax Pharmaceuticals offers a diverse range of medications across a wide range of therapeutic areas. Headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Pharmax Pharmaceuticals is a GMP-licensed international manufacturer and distributor of high-quality medications into most regulated markets globally. Pharmax Pharmaceuticals is committed to maintaining a culture of quality and its state-of-the-art facility meets stringent local and global regulatory standards.

Mary O’Brien
Chief Marketing Officer
Global Response Aid
+971 501164708