Gilead Signs Agreement with Five Generic Drug Makers for Supply of Covid-19 Drug

CIOReviewIndia Team | Wednesday, 13 May 2020, 08:22 IST

Gilead Signs Agreement with Five Drug Makers for Supply of Covid-19 Drug

An experimental antiviral drug- Remdesivir made by the US pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, has been gaining traction across the world as a potential treatment for Covid-19 following its approval by the Food and Drug Administration of US for the treatment in the country.        

Gilead Sciences has recently signed non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with five generic drug makers based in India and Pakistan- Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd, Cipla Ltd, Hetero Labs Ltd, Mylan NV and Ferozsons Laboratories Ltd on Remdesivir for the manufacture and supply of the drug in 127 countries. The list of 127 countries consists of all low-income and lower-middle income countries, along with several upper-middle and high-income countries that face significant obstacles to healthcare access. The agreement allows the above-said companies to distribute the drug in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, India, Egypt, Bermuda, North Korea, Indonesia, etc. Under the licensing agreement, the companies receive a technology transfer of the Gilead manufacturing process for Remdesivir to scale up production more quickly and meet the demand.   “The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organization declares the end of the public health emergency regarding COVID-19, or until a product other than Remdesivir or a vaccine is approved to treat or prevent COVID-19,” the company said.       

Jubilant Life Sciences, a Noida-based pharmaceutical company is planning to produce active pharmaceutical ingredients of the drug in-house to ensure cost-effectiveness and consistent availability of the drug. “Based on initial data, Remdesivir shows promise to be a potential therapy for Covid-19, a pandemic creating unprecedented health and economic crisis globally. We will be monitoring the clinical trials and regulatory approvals very closely and would be ready to launch the drug shortly after the required regulatory approvals,” said Jubilant Life Sciences Chairman Shyam S Bhartia and Co-Chairman & Managing Director Hari S Bhartia, commenting on the partnership.          

India which has been effectively handling the Covid-19 has already received 1000 doses of Remdesivir for testing. Raman Gangakhedkar the Chief Scientist of Indian Council of Medical Research said, “Initial data based on an observational study shows that the drug is effective. We will wait for the results from the WHO solidarity trial."

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