Chairman of Indian pharmaceutical firm Cipla, Yusuf Hamied (Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images).

Indian drugmaker Cipla Ltd will price its generic version of Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir for use in Covid-19 patients at less than $66 (£53), the company said.

Cipla and privately held Indian drugmaker Hetero Labs on Sunday gained approval to sell generic versions of remdesivir in the country. Hetero expects to price a similar 100 milligram dose of the treatment at £53 to £60.

Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd, one of Bangladesh’s largest drugmakers, in May became the first company in the world to introduce a generic variant of remdesivir.

Remdesivir, intravenously administered in hospitals, is the first treatment to show improvement in Covid-19 trials. It has been approved for emergency use in severely-ill patients in the US, India and South Korea, and has received full approval in Japan.

Cipla, in an e-mailed statement, did not provide details on when the treatment, called Cipremi, will be available.

Remdesivir has yet to be priced in the US.

Gilead said on Monday it is targeting remdesivir supply for more than two million Covid-19 patients by the end of the year.

The expectations suggest sales of between £1.60 billion and £2.40bn between 2020 and 2021 at a price of £800 to £1600 per course, according to Jefferies analyst Michael Yee.

(Reuters)

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