June 24, 2020 / 11:22 AM / 18 days ago

India's Hetero prices experimental COVID-19 drug remdesivir at $71 per 100 mg vial

FILE PHOTO: An ampule of remdesivir is pictured during a news conference at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, Germany, April 8, 2020, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Ulrich Perrey/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BENGALURU (Reuters) - India’s Hetero Labs Ltd has priced its generic version of remdesivir, Gilead’s experimental COVID-19 drug, at 5,400 rupees ($71) per 100-milligram vial, the drugmaker said on Wednesday, as it prepares to ship them to hospitals in the country.

The privately held company said it would supply 20,000 vials of the drug. Fellow Indian drug firm Cipla Ltd had said on Tuesday that its own version of the antiviral drug remdesivir would be priced below 5,000 rupees.

Cipla and Hetero are among a bevy of drugmakers which have licensing agreements with U.S.-based Gilead Sciences Inc, the original manufacturer of remdesivir, to make and sell the drug in 127 low- and middle-income countries.

India has approved the generic versions made by Cipla and Hetero for restricted emergency use in severe COVID-19 cases.

The treatment was the first to show improvement in trials on COVID-19 patients and has won approval for emergency use in severely ill patients in the United States and South Korea, and received full approval in Japan. It is yet to be priced in the United States.

India, the fourth worst hit nation by the coronavirus, reported a total of 456,183 infections and 14,476 deaths on Wednesday.

Reporting by Sachin Ravikumar; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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