Govt's CSIR lab completes synthesis of Gilead's drug Remdesivir KSMs for coronavirus

Henrietta Strickland
May 6, 2020

US biopharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences Inc. said Monday it applied with the Japanese health ministry for approval to use its anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat new coronavirus patients, paving the way for its clearance as early as this week.

"KSMs on kilo scale and gram scale synthesis of Remdesivir has been achieved by CSIR-IICT and technology demonstration to Indian industry is going on", a release by the Ministry of Science & Technology stated.

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Remdesivir was granted emergency use authorization last week by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19, the highly contagious lung disease caused by the new coronavirus, and Gilead filed for fast-track approval in Japan on Monday.

"These key starting materials for Remdesivir are available in India and chemical companies can manufacture these", he said.

Gilead also said on Tuesday it was negotiating long-term licences with several generic drugmakers in India and Pakistan to produce remdesivir for developing countries and that it would provide technology to aid the production.

However, it is worth noting that Gilead Sciences, the company that has developed Remdesivir, holds a patent that allows the drug to be manufactured only for research, not commercialization. Clinical trials have been under way to confirm the effectiveness and safety of its use for coronavirus patients around the world, including Japan. The Japanese government began procedures to fast-track approval of the drug as a possible treatment for coronavirus patients after the USA authorized its emergency use on Friday.

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