Leading pharmaceuticals company Eskayef has successfully produced remdesivir, the drug used for treating Covid-19 patients, and preparations began yesterday morning for distributing the drug.
Simeen Hossain, managing director and chief executive officer of Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Ltd, said that at this crucial time the company is happy to give the people the good news that it has successfully completed all the steps in the manufacturing of remdesivir, globally recognised as the only effective drug for treating Covid-19 patients.
Eskayef is the first drug manufacturing company in the world to successfully manufacture generic remdesivir. The brand name for remdesivir, manufactured by Eskayef, is Remivir.
Its sample will be submitted to the National Control Laboratory of drug administration for approval as per the rule, Eskayef said.
The company will start distributing it a few days after getting the approval for marketing.
This drug, manufactured by US company Gilead Sciences Inc, has created a sensation all over the world. Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved remdesivir for treating Covid-19 patients. The drug administration in Japan gave its permission on Thursday. However, a Japanese health official informed Reuters that it has not been determined as yet when Japan will begin the manufacture of this drug.
It has been learnt that Gilead Sciences is negotiating with large companies in India and Pakistan regarding the manufacture of remdesivir.
Simeen Hossain told The Daily Star that the drug administration gave its approval in March to use this drug.
“Immediately after that, our formulation scientists started working on the development of remdesivir from mid-March. As this is an injection to be administered intravenously, the production process is extremely sensitive. The tireless and relentless efforts of the Eskayef personnel over the past two months have made it possible to produce the drug within such a short time span. From Eskayef we are fully committed to make sure that our remdesivir is available for the patients in Bangladesh first. We are ensuring availability of sufficient raw materials by having agreement with API supplier,” she said.
Remdesivir so far has been proven to be the most effective in the treatment of Covid-19. Experiments carried out by Gilead have indicated improvement in the conditions of the patients who have been treated with this drug.
The dosage depends on the condition of the patient. Severely affected patients may need to be treated with the drug for five to 10 days.
Gilead has the patent for the drug but in accordance to international trade laws, countries like Bangladesh, recognised by the UN as lesser developed countries, are not restricted by the patent. As a result, these countries can produce the drug at a reasonable cost. The drug, however, will not be released in the open market for the time being. It will be provided to government-approved hospitals.
In a discussion at the White House, Anthony Fauci, the top US immunologist and director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD), said that it was evident that remdesivir had a positive influence on the speedy recovery from coronavirus. He said as there was clear evidence that this drug was effective, there was a moral obligation to inform the public about this.
Eskayef Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a part of Transcom Ltd headed by Bangladesh’s renowned businessman Latifur Rahman, has been manufacturing quality drugs for the past 30 years. Eskayef exports its medicines to 30 countries in four continents — Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa.