Gilead to help India boost remdesivir production, to give at least 450,000 vials

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) -Gilead Sciences Inc will give at least 450,000 vials of its COVID-19 drug remdesivir to India and donate active pharmaceutical ingredient to scale up its production, it said on Monday, as the country reels with surging coronavirus cases.

Nations including Britain, Germany and the United States have pledged support to the world’s second most populous country, while the World Health Organization termed the situation as “beyond heartbreaking”.

India has an official tally of 17.31 million infections and 195,123 deaths, after 2,812 deaths overnight, health ministry data showed, although health experts say the figures probably run higher.

Remdesivir is approved in India for restricted emergency use for the treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease.

“Our immediate focus is to help address the needs of patients in India who may benefit from remdesivir as quickly as we can by working together with the government, health authorities and our voluntary licensees,” said Johanna Mercier, Chief Commercial Officer.

The company has branded the drug as Veklury, but it is most commonly known as remdesivir.

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