India's Zydus Cadila to make Gilead's potential COVID-19 drug remdesivirIndia's Zydus Cadila to make Gilead's potential COVID-19 drug remdesivir
FILE PHOTO: A Gilead Sciences, Inc. logo is seen outside the company headquarters in Foster City, California

BENGALURU (Reuters) – Indian drugmaker Zydus Cadila said on Friday it signed a non-exclusive licensing pact with Gilead Sciences Inc to manufacture and market antiviral drug remdesivir, the first treatment to show improvement in COVID-19 trials.

Zydus, listed as Cadila Healthcare, joins other Indian pharmaceutical companies Cipla Ltd, Jubilant Sciences Ltd and privately held Hetero Labs Ltd in signing non-exclusive pacts with Gilead for the drug.

Clinical studies involving the drug are being closely watched as nations look for treatments for the disease that has infected more than 7 million people and killed over 400,000 globally.

The drug, intravenously administered in hospitals, has already been approved for emergency use in severely-ill patients in the United States, India and South Korea.

As part of the pact, Zydus will get the manufacturing know-how from Gilead to manufacture the active pharmaceutical ingredient for remdesivir and the finished product. Zydus will market it in 127 countries, including India.

India’s novel coronavirus cases on Friday jumped by a record 10,956 from the previous day, and the death toll reached 8,498. Worldwide death toll was 420,950 on Friday.

(Reporting by Anuron Kumar Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)