27 July 2021 | Tuesday | News
When India experienced an unexpected COVID-19 surge this spring, the rapid increase in cases put pressure on the local pharmaceutical industry to supply the medicines needed. In April, EVA Pharma signed a contract with the Indian government to export 300,000 vials of Remdesivir, an approved treatment for coronavirus, to meet the urgent needs there.
Six shipments of Remdesivir were flown to Mumbai between May and June and were subsequently dispatched to hospitals across India, reaching patients everywhere from major cities to the remote archipelago of Lakshadweep.
"I'm glad to say that the six consignments in which the Remdesivir was dispatched to India were not only sent on schedule but in all cases before the schedule," commented Ambassador Ajit Gupte, India's envoy to Egypt. "This was a period when the caseload was very high in India, and the shipments would have helped to save a lot of lives."
EVA Pharma is the only company in the Middle East or Africa that has been granted a voluntary license to produce and distribute Remdesivir by Gilead Sciences, Inc, the owner of the molecule. The production lines at the EVA Pharma facility in Haram, Cairo, are certified by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), enabling the company to export its products globally.
COVID-19 cases in India have since declined, reducing the immediate pressure on local health systems and supply lines. Cases in other countries have gone up in recent months, however, especially due to the spread of the Delta variant. As a result, EVA Pharma has increased its exports of Remdesivir to other Asian countries such as Indonesia.
"We are proud to support COVID-19 efforts both in Egypt and around the world by manufacturing Remdesivir at our world-class manufacturing facility in Cairo," said Dr. Riad Armanious, CEO of EVA Pharma. "With our monthly production of Remdesivir now amounting to 1.5 million doses, we are able to meet the local needs of Egyptian patients while also helping other countries tackle this crisis. In fact, we now supply more than 20 countries around the world with Remdesivir."
The success of the cooperation between EVA Pharma and India highlights the potential for further fruitful
"As developing countries, what I can say is India and Egypt face similar challenges," said Ambassador Gupte. "One of the challenges we face is how we can provide affordable health care to our millions of people because we are populous countries. Cost is important. So I think the closer the cooperation between India and Egypt, the more we will be able to help provide basic needs for the people of our countries."