BRUSSELS (Sputnik) – The European Commission is negotiating with the US-based Gilead Sciences company, which is producing the Remdesivir antiviral drug used against COVID-19, the possibility of providing the EU with a sufficient number of doses of the drug in light of reports that the US intends to stockpile the doses, the official statement said.
“Commissioner [Stella] Kyriakides has had multiple discussions with different pharmaceutical companies, including with Gilead, to discuss, for instance, production capacities. Now, at our level, the commission is currently negotiating with Gilead the possibility to reserve … the sufficient quantities doses [of Remdesivir} for the [EU] member states”, spokesman Stefan de Keersmaecker said at a briefing.
The European Commission is expected to approve the conditional marketing authorisation for Remdesivir in the coming days, which will allow the treatment to be used before the completion of all clinical trials.
REUTERS / Amr Abdallah Dalsh
A lab technicians holds the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment drug “Remdesivir” at Eva Pharma Facility in Cairo, Egypt June 25, 2020
Earlier in the week, The Guardian newspaper reported that the United States had purchased nearly all reserves of Remdesivir for the next three months from Gilead Sciences, thus, significantly limiting access to the drug for the UK and other European countries.
While the first 140,000 doses of the drug were sold worldwide, in late June, according to the newspaper, Washington purchased about 500,000 doses, which is about 90 percent of the drug’s three-month supply.
Remdesivir, initially developed to treat Ebola, has been proven to work against the coronavirus. The drug has become the first treatment for COVID-19 to receive fufthe backing of the European Medicines Agency.