Russian firm seeks to produce COVID-19 drug without patent, Vedomosti reports

In this news, we discuss the Russian firm seeks to produce COVID-19 drug without patent, Vedomosti reports.

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian drugmaker Pharmasyntez has asked the Kremlin for permission to produce a generic version of the patent-free US company Gilead Sciences’ treatment remdesivir GILD.O COVID-19, the Vedomosti newspaper reported on Monday.

Siberian-based Pharmasyntez had previously contacted Gilead to apply for a voluntary license to produce and distribute the drug in Russia, company director Vikram Punia told Reuters this year.

But he has not been able to produce the drug because it is protected by a patent and Gilead did not respond to a request for a voluntary license, Vedomosti reported, citing a letter sent by Punia to several Russian ministries.

Pharmasyntez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Russian company has completed a clinical trial of the generic drug, called Remdeform, on 300 patients in 23 Russian hospitals, a registry entry showed.

Gilead has granted such permission to manufacture its drug to producers in 127 countries. These were mostly low-income countries or countries facing other significant barriers to accessing health care, Gilead said.

In his letter, Punia asked the Russian government to activate a compulsory licensing process, Vedomosti reported, in which the government grants licenses to produce patented products in Russia without the permission of the patent holder, in the interests of of national security and defense.

Reporting by Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Writing by Polina Ivanova; Editing by Edmund Blair

Original © Thomson Reuters

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