Gilead in talks to expand global supply of Covid-19 drug remdesivir

NEW DELHI: He said Tuesday that he was in talks with chemical and drug manufacturers to produce his experimental remdesivir of COVID-19 drugs for Europe, Asia and the developing world until at least 2022.

The pharmacist did not disclose details about the companies.

With several countries around the world recovering from the virus outbreak, interest in remdesivir has been high as there are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new one.

Last week, Gilead received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use remdesivir as a treatment against COVID-19, after the drug maker provided data showing that the drug had helped patients with COVID-19.

Gilead also said Tuesday that it was negotiating long-term licenses with several generic drug manufacturers in India and Pakistan to produce remdesivir for developing countries and that it would provide technology to aid production.

One of Bangladesh's largest drug makers, Beximco Pharmaceuticals, will start to slow production this month, Reuters reported Tuesday, citing a senior company executive.

Remdesivir was previously available only to patients enrolled in clinical trials or those approved to obtain the drug in extended-use and compassionate-use programs.

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Gilead, who has already said he will donate the first 1.5 million doses of remdesivir, also previously said he was focused on making the drug accessible and affordable to as many people as possible with the approval.

Gilead said he was working to build a consortium of manufacturing partners to help maximize the global supply of the drug, which requires scarce raw materials and specialized manufacturing capabilities with limited global capacity.

The company also said it was in advanced talks with UNICEF to deliver remdesivir using the agency's distribution networks.