Foreign companies looking forward to India for vaccine production: Will it be a new era for the phar

The COVID pandemic has pulled biopharma companies across the globe to steadfast the development of a potential solution. Though we might have a vaccine soon there can be a challenge in meeting the demand for production. This is the reason recently, Gilead (a US-based biopharma) has approached various leading biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies across Asia, including India. Gilead has recently received FDA approval for its patented antiviral drug remdesivir for emergency use in COVID-19 patients.

The discussion between the patent holder (Gilead) and other companies is under process to produce sufficient lots at least through 2022. For this, a voluntary license will be necessary for the companies to initiate the production of the candidate drug. A voluntary license is permission from the patent holder to the respective generic drug manufacturer for the production of the patented drug. This could be considered a new era for chemical and pharmaceutical industries in India as we are among the world’s top generic hubs.

“The company is negotiating long-term voluntary licenses with several generic drug makers in India and Pakistan to produce remdesivir for developing countries. Gilead will provide technology transfers to facilitate this production. Finally, the company is in active discussions with the Medicines Patent Pool, which Gilead has partnered with for many years, to license remdesivir for developing countries,” said Gilead Sciences.

“Such drugs can be generically manufactured after paying a royalty amount to the patent holder. There are certain provisions during a pandemic that can be made use of to manufacture the drug if required,” Dr. Raman R Gangakhedkar, head, department of epidemiology and communicable disease, ICMR.

Various Indian companies have the capability to produce a large number of vaccine lots. For example, Serum Institute itself produces over 1.2 billion vaccine doses annually. It is the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer in terms of the doses produce or sold across the globe.

world’s leading chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies, including in India, to produce its patented antiviral drug remdesivir, after the drug recently received US Food & Drug Administration authorisation for emergency use in coronavirus disease (Covid-19) patients.

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