Reuters says that China is in talks with Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) about having some of its own drug companies make a generic version of the COVID-19 antiviral Paxlovid.
The news organization said that China was trying to make a deal before the Lunar New Year started on January 22. It said that this was based on information from a number of sources.
After the government abandoned its “zero COVID” policy in December, COVID rates in China are now skyrocketing, which could explain the likely action.
Late in December, it is said that a group of local drug makers met with China’s National Medical Products Administration to talk about the steps needed to make generic Paxlovid.
CSPC Pharmaceutical Group and Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical were present, according to Reuters. Huahai has recently been testing the bioequivalence of a generic version.
Pfizer and China Meheco Corp. made a deal in December so that Paxlovid could be sold in mainland China.
Pfizer Stock Outlook
On Thursday afternoon, Pfizer told its employees that it would stop early-stage research into cures for rare diseases, such as making new gene therapies based on viruses.
Most of the company’s early-stage efforts for rare diseases in cardiology and neurology, as well as gene therapy initiatives not yet in clinical trials, would be “externalized,” according to the company. The business announced in December 2021 that it would invest about $70 million in a gene therapy production plant in Durham, North Carolina. This facility is one of the assets up for sale.
The specifics of what will happen to the resources and initiatives are still up in the air. A representative for Pfizer PFE +2.46% told Barron’s that the corporation might sell some, spin off some as a new business, or look for outside alliances. The company said that it might keep investing in some of the programs in a strategic way.
Thanks to a mix of scientific advancements, commercial factors, and regulatory factors, rare diseases, which afflict small segments of the population, have been a key focus for the biopharma sector in recent years. Some specialists disagree with the approach, claiming it ignores more prevalent conditions.
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