Zydus Cadila’s ZyCoV-D gets emergency use authorisation in India

The Subject Expert Committee (SEC) of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has recommended the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Zydus Cadila’s Covid-19 vaccine, ZyCoV-D, in India. The three-dose vaccine is applied using a needle-free system known as Tropis, which can also lead to a significant reduction in any kind of side effects. ZyCoV-D has an efficacy rate of 66.6% in a late-stage trial of more than 28,000 volunteers nationwide.

In other news, Zydus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (a subsidiary of Zydus Cadila) has signed a pact with Italy-based CHEMI SpA to launch a generic drug used in the treatment of Deep Vein Thrombosis (blood clot formed in deep veins of the body). 

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Ujjivan founder flags asset quality, attrition concerns as CEO resigns

A day after Nitin Chugh resigned as CEO of Ujjivan Small Finance Bank, Samit Ghosh (the founder of Ujjivan Financial Services) highlighted two major concerns at the bank. The extent of provisions against bank loans over the last year and the high attrition rate (the rate at which people leave) at various levels were concerning. Ujjivan SFB’s board will undertake a review of the bank’s loan book to identify accounts where further provisioning is needed. The bank’s gross non-performing assets (GNPA) ratio jumped from 7.1% in Q4 FY21 to 9.8% in Q1 FY22.

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TTK Prestige to commence normal operations at Khardi unit

TTK Prestige Ltd announced that a long-term settlement has been reached with the permanent workmen at its manufacturing unit at Khardi, Maharashtra. The company’s management had declared a lock-out at the unit on November 17, 2020. Under the new settlement, the workmen have agreed not to indulge in disruptive activities henceforth and have also accepted improved productivity norms. Normalised manufacturing operations are expected to commence on August 23, 2021.

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Ashoka Buildcon secures 1,500 MW solar parks project in Madhya Pradesh

Ashoka Buildcon Ltd has secured an order for a 1,500 megawatt (MW) solar parks project in Madhya Pradesh from Rewa Ultra Mega Solar. The accepted contract price of the project is Rs 186.11 crore. Ashoka Buildcon is a leading construction engineering company based in Nashik, Maharashtra.

SpiceJet launches 14 new domestic flights

SpiceJet Ltd has launched 14 new flights, including 12 industry-first non-stop flights. It will be the first airline to connect Bhavnagar-Delhi, Bhavnagar-Surat, Gwalior-Jaipur, Kishangarh (Ajmer)-Mumbai, Pune-Tirupati, and Varanasi-Dehradun. The airline also plans to launch a non-stop flight connecting Bhavnagar (Gujarat) with Mumbai.

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Natco Pharma faces setback in US patent litigation

A US District Court has ruled against Natco Pharma and its partner Alvogen in patent litigation related to Chicago-based AbbVie’s Pharmacyclics LLC’s Imbruvica. The court upheld Pharmacyclics LLC and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Biotech’s four patents related to Imbruvica. AbbVie’s Pharmacyclics owns the patents and markets the drug with Janssen Biotech. Imbruvica is used to treat certain blood cancers.

In 2018, Natco Pharma and Alvogen had filed an Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) for a generic version of Imbruvica.

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Facebook India launches ‘Small Business Loans Initiative’ for SMBs across 200 cities

Facebook India has launched the ‘Small Business Loans Initiative’ to help small and medium businesses (SMBs) that advertise on the social media platform to get quick access to credit through independent lending partners. India is the first Facebook country where this program is getting rolled out. The initiative is open to registered businesses across 200 towns and cities across India. The interest range for these loans is pre-defined between 17-20% per annum.

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Steel Strip Wheels secures export orders worth Rs 81 crore

Steel Strip Wheels Ltd (SSWL) has secured an export order valued at close to $11 million (~Rs 81 crore) from Western Hemisphere. SSWL will complete the execution of the orders by December 2021 from its Chennai and Dappar plants. The company said orders of similar capacity are anticipated in coming months from a similar customer base, as business continues to recover rapidly.

Adani Total Gas to acquire 50% stake in Smartmeters Technologies

Adani Total Gas has executed a Share Subscription and Shareholders’ Agreement (SSSA) with Gujarat State Export Corp Ltd (GSEC) and Smartmeters Technologies Pvt Ltd (SMTPL) to acquire a 50% stake in SMTPL. The acquisition is expected to be completed by September 2021. Gujarat-based SMTPL is a manufacturer of gas meters with end-to-end solutions and services.

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