Previous pandemic antiviral demand spike sees Biocryst jump aboard

The Covid-19 outbreak has highlighted the need for effective broad-spectrum antivirals that can be stockpiled for times of need; a look at historic sales of existing agents shows how use spiked during previous outbreaks. Still, products reserved for emergency use are rarely an attractive prospect for profit-driven drugmakers – although Roche has certainly done well out of Tamiflu – hence the awarding of government contracts to fund development. One such beneficiary of these, Biocryst, which originated peramivir, said today it was working with the US government to figure out whether its investigational antiviral galidesivir might have activity against Covid-19. This was predictably a big focus on the company’s quarterly results call today, although executives stressed that galidesivir’s utility had yet to be determined; and, because the US government will carry out any work, Biocryst cannot say when trials might start. “This is not a commercial product – the customer is the government, and we are following their lead,” said chief executive Jon Stonehouse. Gilead is further ahead here, having put its antiviral remdesivir into phase III. Should either of these work, the chart below shows the sort of demand these developers might expect.

Developers and manufacturers of antivirals in chart above
Roche - sells as Tamiflu 
Yichang HEC Changjiang - sells as KeWei (HECPG) in China 
Chong Kun Dang - sells as Tamiflu in S. Korea
Generic suppliers include: Hanmi; Amneal; Lupin 
Glaxosmithkline - sells as Relenza 
Roche - sells as Xofluza
Shionogi - sells as Xofluza
Biocryst - sells as Rapivab
Shionogi - sells as Rapivab
Daiichi Sankyo - sells as Inavir 
Umifenovir (Russia and China only)
OTCPharma sells as Arbidol in Russia
CSPC Pharma Group sells in China
Source: EvaluatePharma. 


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