Gilead Sciences Inc will give India at least 450,000 vials of its Covid-19 drug remdesivir and donate active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to boost production, it said on Monday, as the country reels from surging Covid-19 cases.
India has an official tally of 17.31 million infections and 195,123 deaths, health ministry data showed, although health experts say the figures probably run higher.
Nations including Britain, Germany and the United States have pledged support to the world's second-most populous country, while the World Health Organization termed the situation as "beyond heartbreaking".
Gilead said all seven Indian companies licensed to produce remdesivir are scaling up their batch sizes as well as adding new manufacturing facilities and local contract manufacturers.
The companies had an installed capacity of about 3.9 million units per month as of April 11. Gilead said it will donate APIs to safeguard against disruption of generic supply.
India had earlier this month banned the export of the drug and its APIs after record spike in Covid-19 cases sent demand surging.
Remdesivir is approved in India for restricted emergency use to treat suspected or lab confirmed Covid-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease.
"Our immediate focus is to help address the needs of patients in India who may benefit from remdesivir as quickly as we can by working together with the government, health authorities and our voluntary licensees," said Johanna Mercier, Chief Commercial Officer.
The company has branded the drug as Veklury, but it is most commonly known as remdesivir.