The CEO of Gilead Sciences has said he is “humbled” that its drug remdesivir is the first shown to work against the coronavirus — and vowed to “create enough supply for people all over the world.”
Daniel O’Day on Wednesday hailed a series of tests that showed the Ebola drug remdesivir helped speed up recovery for COVID-19 patients as “important progress and offers hope at a time when it is badly needed.”
“All of us at Gilead are humbled by what these promising results might mean for patients,” O’Day said in an open letter. “After years of research and hard work on remdesivir, there is relief and gratitude among our teams today that their efforts have been so worthwhile.”
He said his staff had been “working day and night to determine whether remdesivir might work in patients with COVID-19,” leading to the latest positive tests, including one by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Confirmation that “remdesivir might play a role in easing the burden of the pandemic, is the outcome we all hoped would be possible,” he said.
The firm already has 1.5 million individual doses of the drug which needs to be administered over at least 5 days — all of which “Gilead has committed for donation,” he said.
“We are working to build a global consortium of pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers to expand global capacity and production,” he wrote.
“It will be essential for countries to work together to create enough supply for people all over the world and we look forward to these collaborative efforts,” he said, aiming to also bring the drug “to the developing world.”
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