On Wednesday, US-based biopharmaceutical major Gilead Sciences said that to produce remdesivir for developing nations, it is negotiating long-term voluntary licenses with several generic drugmakers in India and Pakistan.
Gilead stated in a statement that remdesivir is an investigational antiviral drug that may be found effective against the virus that causes COVID-19.
The company stated in a statement, “Gilead will provide appropriate technology transfers to facilitate this production”.
“Gilead is in discussions with some of the world’s leading chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies about their ability, under voluntary licenses, to produce remdesivir for Europe, Asia and the developing world through at least 2022,” it said.
In order to licence remdesivir for developing nations, the company is in advance talks with the Medicines Patent Pool, which Gilead has associated with for several years.
“To further facilitate access in developing countries during this acute health crisis, Gilead is in advanced discussions with UNICEF to utilise their extensive experience providing medicines to low- and middle-income countries during an emergency and humanitarian crises to deliver remdesivir using its well-established distribution networks”, the company said in a statement.
Further, the company added, “Close coordination of remdesivir manufacturing will be critical. This is why Gilead is working to build a consortium of manufacturing partners — to bring efforts together to help maximise global supply,” said the company”.
To Produce the drug, it requires scarce raw materials and it also has the lengthy production time and specialised manufacturing capabilities with the limited global capacity. If there is any obstruction in the supply chain, then it impacts these scarce raw materials and other manufacturing inputs which may lead to a reduction in the amount of remdesivir produced and increase in the time of its production.
Gilead stated that to prepare for the possibility that the company’s investigational antiviral remdesivir may be found effective against the virus that causes COVID-19, it has been working since January with speed, care and diligence.
The results of recent clinical trial and the decision to issue an emergency use authorisation for remdesivir by the US Food and Drug Administration have highlighted the exigency of this work and the significance of planning for making remdesivir globally accessible.