India’s Jubilant signs licensing deal for Gilead’s potential COVID-19 drug

Michelle K. Wallace

FILE PHOTO: Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen after they announced a Phase 3 Trial of the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir in patients with severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – India’s Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd (JULS.NS) said on Tuesday it had signed a non-exclusive licensing agreement for selling Gilead Sciences Inc’s (GILD.O) experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir in 127 countries, including India.

Gilead has been in talks to expand global supply of the drug, after receiving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization for remdesivir in treating COVID-19 patients.

Under the agreement, Jubilant also gets rights to manufacture the drug and scale up production.

Gilead said earlier this month it was negotiating long-term licenses with several generic drugmakers in India and Pakistan to produce remdesivir for developing countries and that it would provide technology to aid the production.

With no approved treatment for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, interest in remdesivir has been growing around the world.

Gilead said the drug has improved outcomes for people suffering from the respiratory disease and has provided data suggesting it works better when given in the early stages of infection.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shounak Dasgupta

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