A potential coronavirus patient arrives by ambulance near Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City on April 1. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Aug. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. pharma company Pfizer said Friday it will manufacture and supply the antiviral drug remdesivir for use in COVID-19 patients, as part of a multi-year agreement with Gilead Sciences.
Originally developed by Gilead to treat viruses like Ebola, remdesivir has demonstrated it can lower the risk of death in COVID-19 patients.
Friday's agreement allows Pfizer to manufacture Gilead's investigational antiviral drug.
"From the beginning it was clear that no one company or innovation would be able to bring an end to the COVID-19 crisis," Pfizer Chairman and CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement. "Pfizer's agreement with Gilead is an excellent example of members of the innovation ecosystem working together to deliver medical solutions."
While there are no approved drugs yet to treat COVID-19, the Food and Drug Administration granted Gilead emergency authorization in May to use remdesivir in hospitalized coronavirus patients.
Gilead has an agreement with the federal government to control allocations of remdesivir to U.S. hospitals through September.
Pfizer's agreement with Gilead is part of a larger effort to organize a coordinated response to the health crisis among "all members of the innovation ecosystem," including large pharmaceutical companies, small biotech firms, government agencies and academic institutions, Bourla said.
Pfizer has been developing a potential COVID-19 vaccine with BioNTech, which is in the late clinical trial stage.