Ferozsons Laboratories Limited has announced that its subsidiary, BF Biosciences Limited (BFBL), is in negotiations to enter into a non-exclusive license agreement with Gilead Sciences Inc.
According to a notification to the Pakistan Stock Exchange, the company is in negotiations for the manufacture and sale of remdesivir (a drug for treating COVID-19 patients) to supply Pakistan and 126 other countries under Gilead’s Global Patient Solutions Program serving the developing world.
However, there is no obligation at this time for any party to execute any transaction, noted the company.
Remdesivir has been granted emergency use authorization (EUA) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms. The optimal duration of treatment is still being studied in ongoing clinical trials. Under the EUA, both 5-day and 10-day treatment durations are suggested, based on the severity of the disease.
If an agreement is reached between Gilead and BFBL, once production starts, Ferozsons believes it will have sufficient quantities over time to serve the needs of the patients in Pakistan. However, at the moment, the management is uncertain as to the timelines for the first launch as an agreement remains to be executed, and thereafter local regulatory approvals and sourcing of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) for manufacturing remdesivir may take some time.
BFBL management is actively taking up the matter with the relevant stakeholders so that remdesivir is made available to patients in Pakistan on an urgent basis, read the filing.
Last week, Gilead Sciences Inc. had announced that it is in talks with Pakistani pharmaceutical manufacturers to supply remdesivir, its use for COVID-19 treatment has been cleared by U.S. health regulators for emergency use.
The talks cover production for Europe, Asia, and the developing world through 2022. It’s also talking with manufacturers in Pakistan and India about manufacturing for developing markets, and about how to license the drug in those markets.
Right after the announcement, FEROZ’s share surged by 7.50% or Rs. 20.22 to Rs. 289.84 on Monday. It went on to touch the upper circuit breaker of the day with a turnover of 1.32 million shares.