Gilead Sciences, the company that makes remdesivir, said it has increased its manufacturing capabilities of the antiviral drug “to meet real-time global demand starting in October,” according to a news release on Thursday.
“We plan to produce more than two million treatment courses by the end of the year, and we anticipate producing several million more in 2021, if needed,” the release said.
Gilead said that supply of the remdesivir, the only drug that currently has an emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with Covid-19, has been increased “more than 50-fold since January,” and that it has shortened its manufacturing timeline to six months from a “lengthy manufacturing timeline.”
The company also announced voluntary licensing agreements with nine generic drug manufacturers to increase global supply of remdesivir to “127 countries that represent nearly all low-income and lower-middle income countries.” There are now more than 40 companies working to manufacture remdesivir in North America, Europe and Asia, Gilead said.
The release comes on the heels of a call by 34 attorneys general urging the federal government to increase the supply and affordability of remdesivir, warning the heads of the US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and the FDA that the supply of the drug is “dangerously limited” and that the recently announced prices of the drug “will impede access to treatment.”