Part of Gilead's pledged donation to Japan for remdesivir.
On 12 May 2020, Gilead signed non-exclusive licensing pacts with five generic drug manufacturers based in India and Pakistan to extend the availability of remdesivir in more than 120 countries, mainly low-income, in Southeast Asia, Africa and elsewhere.
Japan has started treating critically ill COVID-19 patients with Gilead Sciences Inc's coronavirus drug remdesivir, days after the company provides the treatment as part of its promised donation for emergency approval. Japan 's approval of remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment followed the US. The antiviral drug emergency authorization granted by the Food and Drug Administration on 1st May.
At the time, Gilead, based in Foster City , California, announced plans to donate 1,5 million doses of remdesivir-enough to treat at least 140,000 patients-" to help meet the immediate medical needs of this pandemic around the world. "16th May, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Gilead had committed to supplying around 607,000 vials of remdesivir to U.S. hospitals, and about 40 vials of remdesivir. After the doctors had challenged the accuracy of the allocation process, the federal agency said the intravenous medication would be administered by state health departments.
Gilead did not respond to requests for information on further planes for global allocation. Company spokeswoman Seiko Noma confirmed in an email late 13th May that the Japanese government has been donating an unspecified portion of remdesivir vials. "There are far more patients who can benefit from remdesivir than there are doses to go around." Dr. Michael Ison, professor of infectious diseases at the Feinberg School of Medicine at the Northwestern University, said 14th May in an editorial of the American Medical Association Journal.
On 14th May, the Infectious Diseases Society of America asked to meet with Dr. Deborah Birx, the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, "to answer unresolved concerns about access to remdesivir and advise preparing for the use of the drug." The medical association said confusion regarding these issues interfered with patient care. As per Japanese ministry officials the treatment of the U.S. company has been distributed to hospitals in Japan since11th May and is being used in intensive care or ventilation patients.
The amount of remdesivir the drug maker shipped was not public knowledge, and that global supplies were "very small." Japan has had about 16,000 coronavirus infections and 687 deaths, much lower than other developed nations. According to latest health ministry estimates, the number of serious cases needing ventilation was 259. Nearly 1.4 million coronavirus infections and nearly 84,000 deaths occur in the United States. With no other approved COVID-19 treatments, interest in remdesivir is on the increase worldwide. Gilead said on 12th May that it has signed non-exclusive licensing pacts with five generic drug manufacturers based in India and Pakistan to extend the availability of remdesivir in more than 120 nations, mainly low-income, in Southeast Asia, Africa and elsewhere.
Gilead said the medication has improved outcomes for people with respiratory disease and presented evidence that shows it works best when administered early in the infection. Preliminary results from U.S.-led trial Health institutes found 31% of hospital stays with remdesivir cut compared to placebo therapy, although this did not dramatically increase survival. Remdesivir, which previously failed as an Ebola cure, is designed to stop some viruses from producing copies of themselves inside infected cells.