Bangladesh's Beximco, five other drug firms to produce COVID-19 drug remdesivir
05 May 2020
The Bangladesh authorities have given permission to six local pharmaceutical companies, including Beximco, Beacon, Eskayef (SK-F), Incepta, Square and Healthcare, to manufacture potential Covid-19 drug `remdesivir’
The Directorate General of Drug Administration has given permission to the six pharmaceutical companies as the number Covid-19 affected people in the country continued to increase.
One of Bangladesh largest drugmakers, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, will start production this month of the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir, which has shown promise in fighting the new coronavirus, a senior company executive said on Tuesday.
Remdesivir, a drug developed by Gilead Sciences, has grabbed attention as one of the most promising treatments for C0vid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 250,000 people.
US drug authorities have granted emergency use authorisation last week, paving the way for its broader use across US hospitals, after Gilead provided data showing the drug helped to improve survival rates for Covid-19 patients.
The company plans to price the drug, which is given via intravenous infusion, at between 5000 and 6000 takas per vial ($59-$71/per vial), Reuters wcited Beximco’s chief operating officer Rabbur Reza as saying.
“We will only know exactly how much a patient needs once studies are complete,” Reza said.
He said production would begin this month, initially for domestic use only.
But the decision on when the medicines will be sent to the hospitals is yet to be made. The decision will come after the trial of the medicine.
Remdesivir is being used on Covid-19 patients in several countries including the US. It has a history to work well against the SARS and Ebola virus.
Gilead has donated an initial batch of 1.5 million vials of the drug to help patients in the United States, but has yet to announce its pricing.