Gilead to give licensees in India support to open more Remdesivir manufacturing facilities

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Representative image
Representative image

California [US], April 29 (ANI/Sputnik): US-based Gilead Sciences Inc company, the developer of antiviral drug Remdesivir, used for treatment of COVID-19 patients, will provide all its licensing partners in coronavirus-hit India with the technical support for the addition of new manufacturing facilities but will not send any more specialists there, a Gilead spokesperson told Sputnik.

On Monday, Gilead announced steps to boost the availability of the drug in India and vowed to donate at least 450,000 vials of Veklury, which is a brand name of Remdesivir, to the country. Meanwhile, all seven local manufacturers of the drug have significantly increased their capacity and production, it added.

"Gilead will provide all of its voluntary licensing partners with technical assistance, support for the addition of new local manufacturing facilities and the donation of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) as they rapidly scale up production of remdesivir to address the needs of patients in India and other low- and middle-income countries included as part of the voluntary license program," the company said.

Asked whether it would send more specialists to India, the spokesperson explained that since the company has already made the technology transfer back when they signed the agreements, it does not need to send specialists.

India has been facing a record surge in infections. Indian hospitals have been experiencing a shortage of liquid oxygen and stocks of Remdesivir have also been running out. Amid the international concern over the surge in cases, many countries already offered help to New Delhi in form of medical equipment, drugs, and oxygen devices.

Russian pharmaceutical manufacturer Pharmasyntez told Sputnik earlier this week, that it was ready to deliver up to one million packages of Remdesivir to India by the end of May. To ship the drug to India requires an export license issued by the Russian government at the request of New Delhi, or immediately within Russia's humanitarian effort. In the wake of the Russian announcement, reports emerged that plans on the deliveries have been shifted due to the issue with the US licensing laws which Gilead has to abide by. However, the company told Sputnik that it "did not issue any notice" or "has any plans to raise any objection" to the export of the drug from Russia to India. (ANI/Sputnik)