After receiving positive data for its antiviral remdesivir in patients with COVID-19 and approval from the Food and Drug Administration to use the drug last week, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) seeks to ensure that the drug is available worldwide.
On Tuesday, biotechnology announced plans to increase the manufacturing of remdesivir, a drug that is quite difficult to manufacture and requires rare raw materials that must be produced separately.
Gilead is in talks with other manufacturers who may be able to produce the drug for Europe, Asia and the developing world by at least 2022. The company is also negotiating long-term voluntary licenses with several generic drug manufacturers in India and Pakistan, which would produce remdesivir for developing countries.
On the patent front, the company works with the Medicines Patent Pool, a United Nations-supported public health organization that mediates between brand name and generic manufacturers to supply medicines to countries in development. Gilead has previously worked with Medicines Patent Pool to bring its anti-HIV drugs to developing countries.
To get the drugs to countries in need, Gilead is in talks with UNICEF to hopefully use its distribution networks in low- and middle-income countries.
Providing remdesivir in developing countries is unlikely to add much to Gilead’s revenues, but it will provide goodwill to an industry that has received a lot of bad press recently in the face of high drug prices.
Coordinating global manufacturing through licenses could also help Gilead manage the global supply of raw ingredients in order to maximize the global supply of remdesivir, potentially increasing business profits, although this appears to be a concern. secondary for Gilead, even in developed countries, since she has donated 1.5 million doses of the drug.