First copies of Gilead’s SBECD-enabled remdesivir to start selling in Bangladesh

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According to Hindustan Times, Bangladesh’s Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd. has become the world’s first company to start selling the generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s antiviral drug on mounting urgency to treat the infection caused by the deadly coronavirus across the developing world.

The Dhaka-based Beximco will sell remdesivir for about $71 a vial to private clinics but will give it free to state-run hospitals treating Covid-19 patients. A critically ill Covid-19 patient will need at least six vials. Beximco will sell the drug under the brand name bemsivir, according to a statement from the company.

Bangladesh can produce generic versions of patented drugs under World Trade Organization provisions that grant least developed countries a waiver from seeking licenses. Remdesivir was cleared by U.S. drug regulator for emergency use in Covid-19 patients, becoming the first medication backed by early clinical data to be made available to fight the novel pathogen.

Bangladesh had more than 26,000 infected cases as of Wednesday, while the disease had killed 386, according to data from Johns Hopkins University

Gilead has since licensed five companies including Cipla Ltd. and Mylan NV in India and Ferozsons Laboratories Ltd. in Pakistan to make generic versions of the drug and sell in 127 countries.

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