Five Chinese companies join UN’s MPP for Covid-19 medicines

Generics/News | Posted 22/04/2022 post-comment0 Post your comment

Five pharmaceutical companies in China have signed up to the United Nation’s (UN) Medicine Patent Pool (MPP) which will allow them to produce generic versions of Pfizer's oral COVID-19 treatment, Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir), for distribution in 95 low- and middle-income countries, approximately 53 per cent of the world's population.

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The five companies are Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co, Apeloa Pharmaceutical, Fosun Pharma, Zhejiang Jiuzhou Pharmaceutical Co, Shanghai Desano and Pharmaceuticals Co. Four of the companies have signed agreements to produce and supply raw ingredients and the finished product, whereas Zhejiang Jiuzhou is only licensed for the former. They join 30 other companies, including South Korea’s Celltrion [1], already signed up to make Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir) as part of the MPP.

The five Chinese companies are among 35 global drugmaker lined up by the MPP to make the generic version of Pfizer's oral COVID-19 treatment, Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir).

Pfizer signed the MPP to allow generic production of antiviral nirmatrelvir, co-packaged with ritonavir, that has the brand name Paxlovid, in late 2021. It joined Merck & Co Inc (also known as MSD Pharmaceuticals), whose investigational oral COVID-19 antiviral, molnupiravir, is also part of the MPP [2].

The MPP license agreements have been devised to help facilitate fast access to COVID-19 treatments across the globe. The agreements, which also include technology transfer, will remain royalty-free so long as the World Health Organization classifies the pandemic as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern [2].

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1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. South Korean companies to make generic Bridion and COVID-19 drugs []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Apr 22]. Available from:
2. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. MPP agreements allow generics production of Merck and Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatments []. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2022 Apr 22]. Available from:

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