A Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings booth at a medical expo. (Photo/CFP)
Production of the anti-influenza drug Peramivir was approved late last week for treating patients with the latest strain of bird flu in China, Guangzhou's Southern Metropolitan Daily reports.
Given the strong growth prospects for the drug, share prices of Guangzhou Pharmaceutical Holdings, which is indirectly involved in the production of Peramivir, closed at a new high.
While the China Food and Drug Administration quickly approved the sodium chloride injection for treating the country's outbreak of H7N9, other products exist which may prove more effective in fighting the virus. The country's Center for Drug Evaluation said in a statement on April 7 that Peramivir was not as effective as Tamiflu, which may slow the spread of viral cells in patients.
Despite the possibility of being surpassed by a more effective drug, 16 companies have reportedly planned to begin production of Peramivir, with the Hunan Nonferrous Metal Holding Group expected to become the largest supplier.
The PLA's Academy of Military Medical Sciences transferred production technology to the Hunan group several years ago for Peramivir trihydrate. Around the same time, Chembio Pharmacy, a subsidiary of the group, acquired Ranbaxy China, which had also been developing a similar drug. The subsidiary began as a joint venture in 1993 between India's Ranbaxy, an affiliate of China's Guangzhou Pharmaceutical and Hong Kong's New Chemical Company.
There is not yet a date for the drug to go into mass production, according to Guangzhou Pharmaceutical.