At a time when India’s coronavirus tally reached 54,87,580, the country is stepping up efforts to manufacture the antiviral drug remdesivir, as per a report in Financial Times.
Along with India, its neighbour Pakistan has joined to produce the antiviral drug under a licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences.
“There is no longer a remdesivir shortage in India,” Managing Director of Hetero, Vamsi Krishna Bandi told FT. The pharma company MD also stated that they had delivered at least 800,000 doses of Remdesivir domestically since June this year.
One dose of remdesivir costs $390 in the US and ₹2,800 in India.
FDA expands emergency use of remdesivir
At present, Remdesivir is the only drug that has received an Emergency Use Authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and has been approved for emergency use in a few countries like India, the USA and Singapore.
The drug is also permitted for use in severe cases in Japan, the EU, and Australia, for the treatment of Covid-19.
Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral drug developed by Gilead Sciences as a course of treatment for the novel coronavirus.
While doctors in India are prescribing the drug, around 127 countries in the Gilead licensing deal are yet to buy it.
“Currently, our licensees have made Remdesivir available to patients in need in more than 40 countries, and we expect this number will continue to grow over the coming months,” the Gilead told FT.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive of Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, Osman Waheed told FT that he had a stockpile of over 100,000 doses of Remdesivir after waiting for weeks for healthcare authorities in Islamabad to approve exports.
As per Gilead Life Sciences, the market for Remdesivir is estimated to be $2.3 billion for this year and the current financial year based upon their understanding of the pandemic situation.
India’s Dr Reddy’s launches Remdesivir
Dr Reddys Laboratories Ltd had announced the launch of Remdesivir, meant for the treatment of coronavirus patients, under a brand name ‘Redyx’ in India.
As per a press release from the drug maker, the launch is part of the licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Gilead) that grants Dr Reddys the right to register, manufacture and sell Remdesivir, a potential treatment for Covid-19, in 127 countries including India.