Gilead Sciences in Remdesivir deal to 127 countries

Remdesivir

US biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has signed non-exclusive licensing pacts with five generic drugmakers based in India and Pakistan to expand the supply of its experimental COVID-19 treatment Remdesivir.

The agreements allow the companies Cipla Ltd, Ferozsons Laboratories, Hetero Labs Ltd, Jubilant Lifesciences and Mylan – to manufacture remdesivir for distribution in 127 countries. The countries consist of nearly all low-income and lower-middle income countries, as well as several upper-middle and high-income countries that face significant obstacles to healthcare access, Gilead Sciences said in a statement.

In May, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved emergency use of Remdesivir to treat people with COVID-19 after preliminary results from a large randomised controlled trial in the US showed patients with COVID-19 recovered four days faster with the drug than with a placebo.

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug designed to disable the mechanism by which some viruses, such as coronaviruses, make copies of themselves. It basically mimics the building process of the genetic material of a virus and when the virus tries to multiply it takes Remdesivir instead and that stops the virus.

The countries where Remdesivir will be distributed are:

  • Afghanistan;
  • Algeria;
  • Angola;
  • Anguilla;
  • Antigua & Barbuda;
  • Armenia;
  • Aruba;
  • Azerbaijan;
  • The Bahamas;
  • Bangladesh;
  • Barbados;
  • Belarus;
  • Belize;
  • Benin;
  • Bermuda;
  • Bhutan;
  • Botswana;
  • British Virgin Islands;
  • Burkina Faso;
  • Burundi;
  • Cambodia;
  • Cameroon;
  • Cape Verde;
  • Cayman Island;
  • Central African Republic;
  • Chad;
  • Comoros;
  • Congo Republic;
  • Cook Islands;
  • Costa Rica;
  • Cote d’Ivoire;
  • Cuba;
  • Curacao;
  • Djibouti;
  • Dominica;
  • Dominican Republic;
  • Egypt;
  • El Salvador;
  • Equatorial Guinea;
  • Eritrea;
  • Eswatini (Swaziland);
  • Ethiopia;
  • Fiji;
  • Gabon;
  • Gambia;
  • Georgia;
  • Ghana;
  • Grenada;
  • Guatemala;
  • Guinea;
  • Guinea-Bissau;
  • Guyana;
  • Haiti;
  • Honduras;
  • India;
  • Indonesia;
  • Jamaica;
  • Kazakhstan;
  • Kenya;
  • Kiribati;
  • North Korea;
  • Kyrgyzstan;
  • Laos;
  • Lesotho;
  • Liberia;
  • Libya;
  • Madagascar;
  • Malawi;
  • Maldives;
  • Mali;
  • Marshall Islands;
  • Mauritania;
  • Mauritius;
  • Micronesia;
  • Moldova;
  • Mongolia;
  • Montserrat;
  • Morocco;
  • Mozambique;
  • Myanmar;
  • Namibia;
  • Nauru;
  • Nepal;
  • Nicaragua;
  • Niger;
  • Nigeria;
  • Pakistan;
  • Palau;
  • Panama;
  • Papua New Guinea;
  • Philippines;
  • Rwanda;
  • Samoa;
  • Sao Tome and Principe;
  • Senegal;
  • Seychelles;
  • Sierra Leone;
  • Sint Maarten (Dutch part);
  • Solomon Islands;
  • Somalia;
  • South Africa;
  • South Sudan;
  • Sri Lanka;
  • St Kitts and Nevis;
  • St Lucia;
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines;
  • Sudan;
  • Suriname;
  • Tajikistan;
  • Tanzania;
  • Thailand;
  • Timor-Leste;
  • Togo;
  • Tonga;
  • Trinidad & Tobago;
  • Tunisia;
  • Turkmenistan;
  • Turks & Caicos;
  • Tuvalu;
  • Uganda;
  • Ukraine;
  • Uzbekistan;
  • Vanuatu;
  • Vietnam;
  • Zambia; and
  • Zimbabwe

“Under the licensing agreements, the companies have a right to receive a technology transfer of the Gilead manufacturing process for Remdesivir to enable them to scale up production more quickly. The licensees also set their own prices for the generic product they produce. The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organization declares the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding COVID-19, or until a pharmaceutical product other than remdesivir or a vaccine is approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, whichever is earlier,” Gilead Sciences said.

Pakistan recorded another 1,662 infections of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours.

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