Israel's Redhill Biopharma signs manufacturing deal for potential COVID-19 treatment

(Reuters) - Redhill Biopharma Ltd has signed a manufacturing deal with two companies in Europe and Canada to ramp up production of its coronavirus treatment candidate, the Israeli drugmaker said on Tuesday.

The company said it was expanding manufacturing capabilities for opaganib, its experimental cancer drug for which it intends to apply for emergency use in COVID-19 patients, to meet likely demand after it is approved for such use.

Redhill did not disclose terms of the deal or the name of the manufacturing companies.

Opaganib is being currently tested in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 pneumonia in two mid-stage trials - one in the United States and another global study that has received approval in six countries including Italy, Russia, UK and Mexico.

Redhill said it was in discussions with the U.S. government agencies for potential funding to support wider production of opaganib.

(This story corrects to Tuesday from Thursday in paragraph 1)

Reporting By Mrinalika Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli