Gilead in talks to expand global supply of COVID-19 drug remdesivir

Henrietta Strickland
May 6, 2020

Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug remdesivir may be approved in Japan for domestic Covid-19 patients when the health ministry's review board is held tomorrow, Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said.

Kato said in a TV program on Tuesday that a U.S. pharmaceutical company filed an application on Monday.

Gilead last week received the US Food and Drug Administration's emergency use authorisation for using remdesivir as a treatment against Covid-19, after the drugmaker provided data showing the drug had helped Covid-19 patients.

The government has revised a Cabinet order so it can fast-track the process to authorize medicines for COVID-19 on condition such drugs have been approved in the United States, Britain, Canada, Germany or in France.

In a recent conversation with Hindustan Times, Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar, the Director of IICT, said that Remdesivir has three KSMs - Pyrrole, Furan, and a Phosphate intermediate - and synthesizing them is a key step towards drug development.

Remdesivir was developed as a possible treatment for Ebola, but it has not been licensed or approved anywhere globally. Harsh Vardhan, comes in light of Remdesivir's promising performance in initial clinical trials on COVID-19 patients.

Almost 3,000 clinical trials have been conducted for Favipiravir, Shinzo Abe, Japan's Prime Minister, said on Monday (May 4), adding that if these data show that the drug is effective, it should be approved for prescription, Kyodo News reported. A scientific study in China has shown its effectiveness in treating the disease.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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