Gilead Sciences Inc. is awaiting the start of trials on the use of remdesivir, an antiviral medication, in combination with other drugs, to treat patients with severe covid-19 infection.
“Beyond the ongoing studies of remdesivir, we look forward to the initiation of combination studies of remdesivir to understand whether the addition of other drugs may enhance patient outcomes," Gilead’s chief medical officer Merdad Parsey said in a statement.
The statement follows a trial involving 1,100 covid-19-positive patients with lower respiratory tract infection showed that remdesivir helps lower the recovery time to 11 days, compared to 15 days for those treated with a placebo.
The preliminary results from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases study in the US on using remdesivir to treat covid-19 patients were published in peer-reviewed New England Journal of Medicine.
In India, Gilead has signed a voluntary licensing agreement with four firms—Cipla, Hetero Drugs, Jubilant Life Sciences and Mylan—for manufacturing the drug for India, besides 126 other countries.
Gilead will transfer the technology to its partners, and the sale will be royalty-free until an alternative drug for covid is found, or when the World Health Organization withdraws the ‘public health emergency of an international concern’ status for the disease.