Natco Pharma Shares Hit Record High On Starting Phase-III Trials For Covid Drug

A ward at the Covid-19 ICU annex of the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in New Delhi. (Photographer: Sumit Dayal/Bloomberg)

Natco Pharma Shares Hit Record High On Starting Phase-III Trials For Covid Drug

Shares of Natco Pharma Ltd. jumped to a record high after the Hyderabad-based drugmaker initiated phase-III trials to evaluate efficacy and safety of an oral therapy to treat mild Covid-19 patients.

Natco Pharma has initiated phase-III clinical trial of Molnupiravir capsules in India. Its first patient was dosed on May 21 in Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, according to an exchange filing.

“Pre-clinical data have shown that Molnupiravir has broad anti-influenza activity, including highly potent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 replication. Patients treated with Molnupiravir achieved response within five days of therapy, indicating that the duration of treatment is short, with the additional advantage of being an oral therapy,” the filing said.

The clinical trial is planned in 32 hospitals across the country.

Separately, Natco Pharma on Saturday received final approvals from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for abbreviated new drug applications for Lenalidomide, an anti-cancer drug; and Everolimus, an immunosuppressant.

The pharma stock rallied as much as 20.49% — the most since Sept. 18, 2020 — to a record high of Rs 1,188.95 apiece. It, however, pared most of its gains to end trading at Rs 1,086, up 9.69%. Of the 15 analysts tracking the company, seven have a ‘buy’ rating, five suggest a ‘hold’ and three recommend a ‘sell’, according to Bloomberg data.

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