India's Jubilant Life inks licensing agreement with Gilead to manufacture Remdesivir, a potential drug to treat COVID-19
Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd on Tuesday said it has entered into a non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc that will grant it the right to register, manufacture and sell the latter's investigational drug, remdesivir
India’s Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd has signed a licensing agreement to manufacture and sell Gilead Sciences Inc's experimental drug Remdesivir in 127 countries, including India. The medicine is a potential therapy for COVID-19.
Jubilant also has received the rights to scale up production in almost all the low-income and middle-income countries, as well as some high-income nations.
Remdesivir is a nucleoside analogue drug developed by Gilead Sciences to fight against Ebola. Both lab and animal studies have shown that Remdesivir is effective against SARS and MERS virus, which belong to the family of coronaviruses -- responsible for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Gilead has said it signed "non-exclusive" voluntary licensing agreement with five generic pharmaceuticals in India and Pakistan to expand the supply of remdesivir.
Commenting on the partnership, Jubilant Life Sciences Chairman Shyam S Bhartia and Co-Chairman & Managing Director Hari S Bhartia said that initial data shows promise that Remdesivir could be a potential therapy for COVID-19.
"We will be monitoring the clinical trials and regulatory approvals very closely and would be ready to launch the drug shortly after the required regulatory approvals," they said in a joint statement.
Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd also said that it plans to produce the drug's Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) in-house, helping its cost-effectiveness and consistent availability.
Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) has authorised emergency use of the Ebola drug remdesivir for treating COVID-19. The anti-viral drug works by attacking an enzyme that a virus needs to replicate inside cells of human bodies.
Following the authorisation, the drug can now be used on patients who are undergoing treatment with severe coronavirus.
As per the report, the drug did not cure Ebola. Gilead also warns of possible "serious side-effects."
Last month, US officials said that there is "clear-cut" evidence that remdesivir can help people recover from COVID-19. It cuts the duration of symptoms from 15 days to 11 in clinical trial at hospitals around the world.
COVID-19 has so far claimed lives of over 2,89,000 people worldwide. It has infected over 42 lakh people. In India, the deadly virus has killed over 2,400 people and infected more than 74 thousand people.
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