(Bloomberg) — Pfizer Inc. cemented a deal first announced in March to sell its antiviral medication Paxlovid in China through a state-owned company, adding to supply of Covid treatments in the country that’s now facing a massive infection surge.

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China Meheco Group Co. signed an agreement Wednesday with Pfizer to import and distribute Paxlovid on the mainland, the company said in a filing with the Shanghai Stocks Exchange. The agreement is effective immediately and expires on Nov. 30, 2023, the statement said. Further terms weren’t disclosed.

Pfizer’s relationship with Meheco has been in place for some time, with a contract signed earlier this year that “business related to Paxlovid” in China would be handled by the mainland company. Separately, Pfizer also has an agreement, inked in August, with Zhejiang Huahai Pharmaceutical Co. —- one of China’s biggest pharmaceutical companies — to produce and sell Paxlovid in the country for five years.

Meheco’s shares climbed by the daily limit of 10% in Shanghai trading on Thursday while Zhejiang Huahai advanced over 3%.

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In the Huahai deal, it was agreed that Pfizer will provide ingredients to make nirmatrelvir, the antiviral portion of the drug, and ritonavir, which slows the antiviral’s breakdown in the body. Huahai will manufacture and combine the two into Paxlovid.

“As China optimizes its Covid policy, Pfizer is actively collaborating with all stakeholders to secure an adequate supply of Paxlovid in China and remains committed to fulfilling the COVID-19 treatment needs of patients in China and around the world,” said a Pfizer statement on the Meheco deal Thursday.

The move to boost supply of Paxlovid in China comes as the country’s abrupt reopening sends infection surging through its vast population, raising concerns over whether the country’s health system is prepared for the wave. Paxlovid is the top oral treatment for the virus, outpacing Merck & Co.’s Lagevrio, also called molnupiravir, and is already a multi-billion dollar drug for the American company.

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China’s need for Covid treatments has weakened its resolve to rely only on home-grown therapies for the virus. It has not approved any foreign-made vaccines but greenlit Paxlovid for use in February.

Merck & Co. also struck a deal with Chinese state-owned drugmaker Sinopharm to import and market molnupiravir in the country in September, a tentative sign that that antiviral might also be cleared for use locally.

–With assistance from Foster Wong, Lianting Tu and Dong Lyu.

(Updates with Pfizer statement in sixth paragraph.)

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