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Coronavirus: Gilead in talks with Indian drug companies to produce remdesivir

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New Delhi, May 07: Gilead Sciences has said that it is in talks with some of the world's leading chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies including in India to produce the patented antiviral drug remdesivir.

Coronavirus: Gilead in talks with Indian drug companies to produce remdesivir

The discussion is taking place about the ability, under voluntary licences to produce the drug for Europe, Asia and the developing world. "The company is negotiating long-term voluntary licenses with several generic drugmakers in India and Pakistan to produce remdesivir for developing countries. Gilead will provide technology transfers to facilitate this production. Finally, the company is in active discussions with the Medicines Patent Pool, which Gilead has partnered with for many years, to license remdesivir for developing countries," a statement read.

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The ICMR in one of its briefings had said that such drugs can be generically manufactured after paying a royalty amount to the patent holder. There are certain provisions during a pandemic that can be made use of to manufacturing of the drug, the ICMR had also said.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad based Indian Institute of Chemical Technology has synthesised the key materials for remdesivir.

This is the first step to develop the active pharmaceutical ingredient in a drug. IICT has also started technology demonstrations for drug manufacturers such as Cipla so that the manufacturing can begin in India. Remdesivir, which is manufactured by Gilead Sciences is the first drug to treat COVID-19 and has been approved in emergency use in the US based on clinical data.

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Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan in a statement said that synthesis of KSMs has been achieved by CSIR-IICT and that technology demonstrations to Indian industry are happening. With regard to Favipiravir, which is another promising drug, CSIR is working with the private sector for clinical trials and also a possible launch in India.

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