International Finance Corporation (IFC) on Tuesday said Glenmark Pharmaceuticals has become the first domestic drugmaker to get a USD 40-million (about Rs 290 crore) credit-line from its USD 8-billion fast-track COVID-19 facility.
The loan to Glenmark will help it increase the availability of affordable, quality medicines in the country as well in other countries, including treatment for the pandemic.
The World Bank Group lender said the USD 40 million-loan is under its USD 8-billion fast-track COVID-19 facility and will help the Mumbai-based company boost its generic drug production capacity in general and respiratory drugs in particular.
IFC’s partnership with Glenmark began way back in 2016, supporting its expansion and growing its research and development capacities.
“We are proud to partner with Glenmark once again towards an inclusive and resilient recovery,” the lender said.
A Glenmark spokesperson said with this credit line they will be able to work with the IFC to help improve access to life-saving drugs as this investment will help them improve the production of quality, and offer low-cost medicines to the needy.
Glenmark produces generic drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients, which have applications in oncology, cardiology, and dermatology, as well as respiratory illnesses.
“Our COVID-19 response, in India and globally, aligns with our continued focus on healthcare, and commitment to respond effectively to an unprecedented crisis. One of our priorities here is to support the nation’s efforts to close development gaps,” said Jun Zhang, IFC India country head.
Supporting Glenmark will contribute to a competitive market, creating jobs and driving growth post-pandemic, Jun added.
It can be noted that in June 2016, IFC invested USD 75 million in Glenmark’s foreign currency convertible bonds to finance its expansion and help grow its Research and Development capacity.
The latest investment is part of IFC’s ongoing work to help countries build back better from the pandemic, including its global health platform that supports improved access to critical healthcare supplies, services, and medicines in developing countries.
In December, IFC had extended a USD 30 million loan to Hyderabad-based vaccine maker Biological E (BioE) to help it expand access to low-cost vaccines for children in developing countries and also help increase the production of a COVID-19 vaccine when developed.
But this funding was not from its COVID credit line. BioE, which has been getting IFC loans since 2017, primarily supplies its vaccines to developing countries through the UNICEF and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance.
It has immunised over 2 billion children around the world, the IFC statement said. BioE produces more than 500 million doses of paediatric vaccines annually and being supplied to more than 130 countries every year.