Gilead announces steps to expand availability of Remdesivir in India
American biopharmaceutical company Gilead has announced several steps to expand the availability of Remdesivir, which is a key therapeutic medicine used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, in India. Remdesivir is approved in India for restricted emergency use for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults as well as children hospitalized with severe disease.
Company announced various measures to rapidly scale up production
"India's recent COVID-19 surge is having a devastating impact on communities and has created unprecedented pressure on health systems," Johanna Mercier, Chief Commercial Officer of Gilead Sciences said. The company announced that it was providing voluntary licensing partners technical assistance, support for the addition of new local manufacturing facilities, and donation of active pharmaceutical ingredients to rapidly scale up the production of Remdesivir.
Gilead will also donate 450,000 vials of Remdesivir to India
"In addition to providing the required support to its licensees to expand their local manufacturing capacity, Gilead will also donate at least 450,000 vials of Veklury (Remdesivir) to help address the immediate needs of Indian patients," the company said. "We are comm itted to doing our part to help tackle this current crisis," Mercier further said.
Immediate focus is to address needs of Indian patients: Mercier
"Our immediate focus is to help address the needs of patients in India who may benefit from Remdesivir as quickly as we can by working together with the government, health authorities, and our voluntary licenses," Mercier said.
Gilead's licensees have accelerated the production of Remdesivir
"All seven of Gilead's licensees that are based in India have significantly accelerated the production of Remdesivir by scaling up their batch sizes, adding some new manufacturing facilities, and/or onboarding the local contract manufacturers across the country," the company further said. These efforts are expected to increase the availability of Remdesivir in the coming weeks.
Gilead's licensing program enables access to Remdesivir in 127 countries
Gilead's voluntary licensing program for Remdesivir, established in May 2020, has enabled access to the drug for more than 2.3 million people in over 60 low and middle-income countries. The program, which builds on Gilead's pioneering voluntary licensing model for its HIV and viral hepatitis medicines, provides long-term licenses to nine manufacturers (seven based in India), to enable access to Remdesivir in 127 countries.