Pfizer agrees to manufacture Gilead’s coronavirus drug remdesivir

A lab technician visually inspects a filled vial of investigational coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment drug remdesivir at a Gilead Sciences facility in La Verne, California.

Gilead Sciences | via REUTERS

Pfizer has agreed to manufacture and supply Gilead Sciences‘ antiviral drug remdesivir, the pharmaceutical giant announced Friday. 

The multi-year agreement will support efforts to scale up the supply of the intravenous drug, which has shown to help shorten the recovery time of some hospitalized coronavirus patients, the company said.

“From the beginning it was clear that no one company or innovation would be able to bring an end to the COVID-19 crisis. Pfizer’s agreement with Gilead is an excellent example of members of the innovation ecosystem working together to deliver medical solutions,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. “Together, we are more powerful than alone.”

There are no FDA-approved drugs for the coronavirus, which has infected more than 19 million people worldwide and killed at least 715,163 in about seven months, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

But doctors have been using the remdesivir, which was developed to treat HIV, on Covid-19 patients in recent months. In May, the FDA granted remdesivir an emergency use authorization, allowing hospitals and doctors to use the drug on hospitalized Covid-19 patients even though the drug has not been formally approved by the agency.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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