Gilead in Licensing Talks for Global Remdesivir Production

Biotech Gilead discussing voluntary licenses of remdesivir for production in Europe, Asia and developing world.
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Gilead Sciences, Inc.   (GILD) - Get Report said Tuesday it is in talks with chemical and pharmaceutical companies about producing its remdesivir drug for use combating COVID-19 in Europe, Asia and the developing world.

The company said it is also in talks with UNICEF on how to distribute the drug in low- and middle-income countries.

Remdesivir was approved for use on an emergency basis in the U.S. on Friday after studies showed it shortened the time to recovery for patients suffering from COVID-19.

“Close coordination of remdesivir manufacturing will be critical,” the company said in a statement. “Producing the drug requires scarce raw materials, with their own lengthy production time, and specialized manufacturing capabilities with limited global capacity. Any disruption to the supply chain impacting these scarce raw materials and other manufacturing inputs could reduce the amount of remdesivir produced and increase the time it takes to do so.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a race among researchers and companies to develop testing, treatments and vaccines against the coronavirus. Much of the world’s economy has been shuttered as countries have imposed lockdowns on citizens in an effort to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus.

Shares of Gilead fell 32 cents, or 0.4%, to $78.82 in after-hours trading.

Among other companies pursuing coronavirus treatments, CytoDyn CYDY shares rose 36 cents, or 13%, to $3.13 Tuesday. CytoDyn is moving into Phase 2 trials of an experimental drug called leronlimab to treat respiratory complications in patients with COVID-19.

BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get Report ADRs rose $4.22, or 9.22%, to $50.00. BioNTech has begun clinical trials of a potential vaccine for covid-19. It is working with Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Report on development and distribution.

Regeneron  (REGN) - Get Report shares rose $32.55, or 6.01%, to $574.37. Regeneron and Sanofi have begun late-stage trials of Kevzara, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment, for use in patients with severe COVID-19. Regeneron is also developing a monoclonal antibodies treatment for COVID-19 and hopes to begin human testing by September.

Among coronavirus stocks lagging Tuesday, Inovio  (INO) - Get Report shares fell 59 cents, or 5.25%, to $10.64. Inovio is in early testing of a vaccine candidate.

Dynavax  (DVAX) - Get Report shares fell 15 cents, or 3.53%, to $4.10. Dynavax is working with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to give companies access to its adjuvant technology which can boost vaccine effectiveness.

Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Report shares fell $1.16, or 2.3%, to $49.34. Phase 1 trials of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate began in March.

The SPDR S&P Biotech ETF  (XBI) - Get Report  rose $2.07, or 2.17%, to $97.50.