Ascletis Pharma is expanding the production of ritonavir oral tablets as well as the oral direct-acting antiviral R&D pipeline to treat SARS-CoV-2 virus amid the recent surge in Covid-19 cases.
The production capacity of ritonavir oral tablets has been expanded to 100 million tablets per year and can also be increased further in future based on the market demand.
Presently, Ascletis’ Covid-19 pipeline includes oral RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) inhibitor ASC10; and oral 3-chymotrypsin like protease (3CLpro) inhibitor ASC11, apart from ritonavir oral tablet (100 mg).
The company stated that it owns only the authorised ritonavir oral tablet in China.
China National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) approved the ritonavir oral tablet in September last year.
Ascletis chairman, founder and CEO Dr Jinzi Wu said: “At the beginning of Covid-19 in 2020, based on its antiviral platform and R&D experience, the Company made the firm and rapid decision to invest in oral direct-acting antivirals R&D against RdRp and 3CLpro of SARS-CoV-2.
“Meanwhile, the Company accelerated the development effort to obtain the approval of ritonavir oral tablets in China and successfully achieved the authorisation by China NMPA for ritonavir oral tablets.
“The Company has tremendous experience in antiviral oral protease inhibitors and successfully developed the fixed-dose combination ASC09F (ASC09+ritonavir) to treat HIV infection, in addition to launching GANOVO/Ritonavir combination for chronic hepatitis C.”
The company is now planning to file generic drug applications for ritonavir oral tablet to register it in several countries.