Jubilant pharma yet to reopen

Pharmaceutical company Jubilant Generics Ltd. in Nanjangud came under focus after more than 70 employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Pharmaceutical company Jubilant Generics Ltd. in Nanjangud came under focus after more than 70 employees tested positive for COVID-19.  

Even as industrial activity showed signs of resumption in many parts of Mysuru, which has not reported any positive cases recently, pharmaceutical company Jubilant Generics Ltd. in Nanjangud, which came under focus after more than 70 employees tested positive, is yet to reopen.

Meanwhile, the source of infection for the first patient here continues to be a mystery.

The company, which had temporarily suspended operations after its employees began testing positive in the last week of March, had the premises sanitised recently. Sources in the Department of Industries in Mysuru told The Hindu that the issue of the company’s reopening will be handled by the State government directly.

Minister for Large and Medium Industries Jagadish Shettar had discussed the matter with the officials during his recent visit to Mysuru.

Joint Director of District Industries Centre, Mysuru, D.K. Lingaraju said the department had not asked the company to suspend operations and the company had “voluntarily” suspended operations after some of its employees tested positive and others quarantined.

Recently, the company had entered into an agreement to manufacture and sell investigational drug Remdesivir, considered to be a potential therapy for COVID-19, in 127 countries, including India.

Jubilant Generics Ltd. in a statement said it had entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences to register, manufacture and sell the latter’s drug Remdesivir.

“Jubilant will have the right to receive a technology transfer of Gilead manufacturing process to scale up production to enable expedited access of the medicine to COVID-19 patients upon approvals by regulatory authorities in respective countries”, its parent company Jubilant Life Sciences Limited said in a press statement.

Bulk drugs

Though Jubilant Life Sciences has multiple manufacturing facilities across India, its subsidiary Jubilant Generics manufactures 46 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs or bulk drugs) including Azithromycin Dihydrate and Azithromycin Monohydrate, which is used to fight the global menace of COVID-19. These drugs, according to a statement issued by the company, are identified as a frontline treatment for patients infected with COVID-19.

Efforts by various government agencies to identify the root cause of COVID-19 spreading among the employees of the company, besides their primary and secondary contacts had come to naught.

While the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, said that the raw material imported by the company from China did not contain any trace of coronavirus, the police, health officials and a senior IAS officer Harsh Gupta, in their respective probes, were unable to identify patient zero or source of infection among the company’s employees.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:19:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/jubilant-pharma-yet-to-reopen/article31596226.ece

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