Remdesivir, the much-awaited coronavirus drug being tested in advanced phased of trials, will now be manufactured in India also soon.
The US drug-maker Gilead Sciences has signed non-exclusive voluntary licensing agreements with five generic pharmaceutical manufacturers, including three from India.
Cipla, Hetero Labs and Jubilant Lifescience will thus manufacture the antiviral drug to treat Covid-19, according to the company statement. Besides Indian firms, Mylan and Pakistan-based Ferozsons Laboratories have also got the license to manufacture remdesivir for distribution in 127 countries.
The countries consist of nearly all low-income and lower-middle income countries, as well as several upper-middle- and high-income countries that face significant obstacles to healthcare access, Gilead said in a statement.
Under the licensing agreements, the companies have the right to receive a technology transfer of the Gilead manufacturing process for remdesivir to enable them to scale up production more quickly.
The licensees also set their own prices for the generic product they produce. The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the end of the Public Health Emergency of International Concern regarding COVID-19, or until a pharmaceutical product other than remdesivir or a vaccine is approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, whichever is earlier.