Gilead gives royalty-free licences for remdesivir to Indian firms

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 13, 2020, 10.54 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

Remdesivir for coronavirus Photograph:( Reuters )

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With no other approved treatment for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, interest in remdesivir has been growing.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed over 2,80,000 people globally, and several drugmakers are racing to develop a viable treatment or vaccine to combat the outbreak.

With no other approved treatment for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, interest in remdesivir has been growing. To this end, Gilead Sciences Inc has signed a non-exclusive licensing pacts with five generic drugmakers to expand the supply of its experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir.

Out of these, three are based in India.

Also read | India's Jubilant signs licensing deal for Gilead's potential COVID-19 drug

The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organisation declares the end of the public health emergency regarding COVID-19, or until a product other than remdesivir or a vaccine is approved to treat or prevent the disease. The licensees will also set their own prices for the generic product they produce.

Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir earlier this month received the US Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorisation to treat COVID-19 patients.

WATCH: Watch: Why the world can't defeat the coronavirus without India

The said pacts allow the companies to make and sell the drug in 127 countries, enhancing India's leadership in the global pharmacy market.

At present, Indian pharma holds a 15 per cent share in the world market -- a leadership position.

India's drug manufacturing capability is its new soft power. There are three distinct areas of opportunity -- pharmaceutical exports, medical tourism destination, and reaching out to vulnerable nations and offer its knowledge and supplies.

India contributes more than 20 per cent by value to the global generics market, and by volume -- supplies more than 40 per cent of United States' drugs.

Indian drugs have been exported to more than 120 countries in the world.

Also, India co-sponsored a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly. It called for a fair, transparent and equitable access to essential medical supplies and any future vaccines for the coronavirus.

As many as 179 countries have thrown their support behind this resolution now.