Ahmedabad-based drug maker Zydus Cadila said on Friday it signed a non-exclusive licensing pact with Gilead Sciences Inc to manufacture and market antiviral drug remdesivir, the first treatment to show improvement in COVID-19 trials. Zydus, listed as Cadila Healthcare, joins other Indian pharmaceutical companies Cipla, Jubilant Sciences and privately held Hetero Labs in signing non-exclusive pacts with Gilead for the drug.
Clinical studies involving the drug are being closely watched as nations look for treatments for the disease that has infected more than 7 million people and killed over 4,00,000 globally.
The drug, intravenously administered in hospitals, has already been approved for emergency use in severely-ill patients in the United States, India and South Korea.
As part of the pact, Zydus will get the manufacturing know-how from Gilead to manufacture the active pharmaceutical ingredient for remdesivir and the finished product. Zydus will market it in 127 countries, including India.
Coronavirus cases in India jumped by a record 10,956 on Friday from the previous day, and the deaths reached 8,498. Worldwide deaths were at 420,950 on Friday.