This is not good news for Biocon. The company’s drug, Itolizumab was approved by the Drug Controller General of India earlier this month, to treat patients with moderate to severe acute respiratory distress. It was cleared after a randomised clinical trial of only 30 patients.
And this drug was supposed to be a ‘game changer’ for the company. But yesterday, the National Task Force on the coronavirus pandemic has decided not to recommend the drug itolizumab in the national protocol for treating the Covid. The drug was struck down as a treatment option, as most members of the task force felt the evidence cited in favour of the medicine is “inconclusive”.
The company said that it provide more evidence to the National Covid Task Force to enable the committee to reconsider its decision.
The market was also disappointed with its performance for Q1FY21 wherein it reported a 26% (YoY) fall in net profit at Rs.168 crore on a 14% rise in revenue. Profitability for the quarter was impacted due to higher R&D spend, lower profit share in the biosimilars business, and lower profitability in the research services segment.
The stock price has been in the red ever since Thursday and today too, it opened lower and went down 3.5% to Rs.401; it has recovered a bit but trades at Rs.403 levels.