Pfizer Inc signs a multi-year deal to produce Gilead’s coronavirus antiviral inhibitor to boost production of the drug
- Pfizer Inc has entered into a multi-year agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc for the manufacture and supply of the antiviral brake derivative
- The drug is the only one approved in the United States for the treatment of emergency coronavirus patients, after it has been shown to shorten hospital stay
- The company will use its plant in McPherson, Kansas to produce the drug, but no other details are available
- On Thursday, Gilead announced that it had boosted remdesivir production 50-fold and promised 12.5 million doses by the end of the year
Pfizer Inc has entered into an agreement to manufacture remdesivir, the only drug authorized in the US for emergency authorization for the treatment of critically ill coronavirus patients.
The New York-based pharmaceutical company says the multi-year agreement will help boost delivery of the antiviral, which has been shown to shorten recovery time.
“It was clear from the start that no company or innovation would be able to end the COVID-19 crisis,” said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla CNBC in a statement.
Pfizer’s agreement with Gilead is an excellent example of members of the innovation ecosystem working together to deliver medical solutions. Together we are more powerful than alone. ‘
Pfizer Inc has entered into a multi-year deal with Gilead Sciences Inc for the manufacture and supply of the antiviral brake desivir (photo)
The company (pictured) will use its plant in McPherson, Kansas to produce the drug, the only one approved in the U.S. for the treatment of critically ill coronavirus patients after it has been shown to shorten hospitalization times
According to CNBC, Pfizer will manufacture the drug at its plant in McPherson, Kansas.
Remdesivir was developed for the treatment of Ebola, the deadly fever that started in West Africa in 2014.
Although it did not work in the treatment of Ebola, the drug appears interfere with the ability of the coronavirus to copy its genetic material.
In April, the National Institutes of Health published the results of a study that showed remdesivir helped patients recover 31 percent faster.
Patients who received the drug improved after 11 days, four days faster than those who did not receive the drug.
However, remdesivir did not improve survival according to preliminary results after two weeks of follow-up. Results after four weeks are expected quickly.
Several countries, including the US, have approved the use of the treatment in critically ill patients.
However, there are concerns about the drug’s delivery, especially after the Trump administration revealed it had bought brake desivir most of the world.
To address this issue, Gilead announced that it has entered into voluntary licensing deals with nine generic manufacturers around the world.
The company says this will expand the brake desivir offering to 127 countries, most of which are low-income and low-middle-income, across three continents.
On Thursday announced it has also increased production by 50 percent and expects to produce more than two million courses of treatment by the end of the year – equivalent to 12.5 million doses.
News of the Pfizer deal also comes hours after Hikma Pharmaceuticals, in the UK, announced it had started production of brake desivir for an undisclosed fee at its plant in Portugal.
The company will deliver the first batches of the antiviral drug “soon” and Gilead is expected to distribute the treatment.
“The terms of the deal are confidential, we’re just a contract manufacturer for Gilead – they order products from us as they expect sales to be,” CEO Siggi Olafsson told Reuters on Friday.