To further extend the availability of remdesivir, Gilead has signed non-exclusive cooperative licensing agreements with five generic pharmaceutical manufacturers based in Pakistan and India.
The agreements require the companies – Cipla Ltd., Ferozsons Laboratories, Hetero Labs Ltd., Jubilant Lifesciences, and Mylan – to manufacture remdesivir in 127 countries for distribution. The countries consist of almost all low-income and low-middle-income countries, as well as some high-middle-income and high-income countries facing major barriers to access to healthcare.
BF Biosciences Limited (BFBL), a subsidiary of Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, has successfully concluded its non-exclusive licensing agreement with Gilead Sciences, Inc. for the manufacture and sale of Remdesivir under Gilead ‘s Global Patient Solutions Program serving the developing world.
Ferozsons is the only Pakistani firm to sign the license agreement and will sell remdesivir in Pakistan and other neighboring countries.
Under the licensing agreements, the companies are entitled to obtain a technology transfer for remdesivir from the Gilead manufacturing process to enable them to scale up production faster. The licensees also set their own prices for the generic drug they make, Gilead said in the official statement.
The licenses are royalty-free until the World Health Organization announces the end of the international public health emergency relating to COVID-19, or until a prescription drug other than remdesivir or vaccine is approved to treat or prevent COVID-19, whichever is sooner.
The U.S. has granted Remdesivir emergency usage authorization (EUA). Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Japanese authorities for treating patients with serious COVID-19 disease in hospital. Ongoing clinical trials are also researching the appropriate period of treatment. Under the EUA, treatment durations of both 5 days and 10 days are recommended, depending on the nature of the disease.
“Once production starts, we are confident that BFBL will have sufficient quantities over time to serve the needs of the patients in Pakistan and access countries abroad. BFBL management is actively taking up the matter with the relevant stakeholders for the necessary regulatory approvals and API arrangements so that Remdesivir is made available to patients on an urgent basis,” said the Ferozsons in a filing to the PSX.
The share of FEROZ surged 7.50 percent or Rs. 23.26 to Rs. 334.93 on Tuesday at the time of filing this report. It has managed to hit the day’s upper circuit breaker with a turnover of 810,400 shares. In three days, the share price of FEROZ has risen from Rs. 269.62 to Rs. 334.93 following its decision to produce and distribute Remdesivir under Gilead’s Global Patient Solutions Program.