Pfizer to manufacture Gilead's antiviral drug remdesivir

Gilead hopes to be able to produce more than 2 million treatment courses by the end of the year

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced Friday that it will manufacture and supply Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir, a possible treatment against the coronavirus.

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The multi-year agreement marks one of many external manufacturing efforts to "scale up supply of the investigational treatment for COVID-19," said Pfizer, which will produce the drug at its McPherson, Kansas, facility.

“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 CEO Albert Bourla said. "Together, we are more powerful than alone."

WHAT IS REMDESIVIR, GILEAD’S POSSIBLE CORONAVIRUS DRUG?

Gilead says it has gone into hyperdrive creating remdesivir, the first treatment shown to be effective against the highly contagious virus that has infected more than 4.8 million Americans, killing more than 160,000.

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Gilead hopes to be able to produce more than 2 million treatment courses by the end of the year, and anticipates producing "several million more in 2021, if needed," the company said in an earlier statement.

GILEAD SCIENCES PLANS ON PRODUCING OVER 2M CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT COURSES BY END OF 2020

Remdesivir, which blocks an enzyme the virus uses to copy its genetic material, is among dozens of treatments being tested and, so far, the farthest along in the process.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
PFEPFIZER INC.36.63-0.19-0.52%
GILDGILEAD SCIENCES INC.65.05+0.01+0.02%

Earlier this week, Johnson & Johnson announced plans to develop and deliver 100 million doses of its SARS-CoV-2 investigational vaccine to the U.S. in a deal with the government valued at more than $1 billion.

Moderna and Novavax, two other companies developing potential vaccines, also reported positive developments in the race for treatment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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