File photo of a Gilead Sciences Inc. office is shown in Foster City, California. (Reuters)
Gilead Sciences, the US-drug maker said that it is willing to team up with governments, pharmaceutical firms, including from India. In an interview with Moneycontrol, it said it was also looking at patent-pooling to increase capacity and ensure accessibility of its antiviral drug Remdesivir to those suffering from Covid-19 across the world.
“On the supply side, we are working to build a global consortium of pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers to expand global capacity and production and have pledged to donate all our existing supply for patients in need,” Gilead spokesperson was quoted as saying by Moneycontrol.
The spokesperson added that it will be essential for countries to work together to create a supply chain for people all over the world.
“…We look forward to these collaborative efforts. In the event of regulatory action, we are in discussions with various groups about how we might bring Remdesivir to the developing world,” Gilead said.
The drug-maker, however, did not give any timeline about its release in India.
The company also did not mention if any Indian generic drug firms had made it to the consortium. But given that in the past Gilead employed voluntary licenses to get Indian firms to manufacture and release HIV and hepatitis-C medicines in low-middle-income countries (LMICs), the possibility of it cannot be dismissed.
Notably, Remdesivir has demonstrated positive results in two clinical trials, one conducted by the company and another by US government in treating patients with severe cases of Covid-19. But findings of a randomised controlled trial study of Redemisivir, conducted in Wuhan, China, did not show any statistically important clinical benefits of the drug. After the study was released, Dr Anthony S Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Remdesivir lessened the time for recovery among patients, early results of a clinical trial showed.
Gilead added the newly released trial findings will throw open several opportunities to inspect the potential of Remdesivir.
“Our teams will look at ways to potentially bring the treatment to a broader patient population by investigating other formulations and means of delivery,” the drug-maker said. It added that I would engage with partners to see how Remdesivir might work with other therapies.
Gilead said that India is not on the Compassionate Use program for Remdesivir. A compassionate use is employing a new, unapproved drug to treat a severely ill patient in a scenario where there is no other treatment at hand.
The company said those suffering from Covid-19 in India, would have to enrol in the Solidarity trial of the World Health Organization.
“India is part of the large global study designed by the WHO – the Solidarity trial. This trial is the best way for patients to access Remdesivir, enabling access to Remdesivir and collecting data to inform the use of this investigational compound and support potential regulatory approvals that can enable broader use of Remdesivir,” the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
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