WASHINGTON: Gilead Sciences has said it expects supply of its potential COVID-19 drug remdesivir to exceed two million courses by year-end, more than double its previous target of 1 million.
The company also said it planned to start trials of an easier-to-use inhaled version of the antiviral drug, currently administered only intravenously, by August.
Remdesivir is at the forefront in the fight against the virus after the drug helped shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial. But producing and supplying billions of doses remain major concerns as the fast-spreading respiratory illness overwhelms healthcare systems around the world.
“We will continue to collaborate globally to ensure sufficient worldwide supply,” Gilead Chief Executive Officer Daniel O’Day said in a statement.
Gilead had previously said it expected to produce one million courses of remdesivir by 2020.
The company also announced plans for a “next wave of clinical trials”, including studies in pregnant women.