BrightGene, a Chinese pharma company, recently announced that it already mass produced the remdesivir’s active ingredient and was in the process of making final doses.  Gilead Sciences, a U.S. company holding the patent right over the remdesivir did not seem to grant any license to BrightGene.  After this announcement, BrightGene’s stock reached the 20% daily cap. Subsequently, the Shanghai Stock Exchange informed the public that BrightGene’s announcement was only to get market attention in order to manipulate its stock value.

Current status

In its statement, the Shanghai Stock Exchange revealed that BrightGene has not obtained an approval for production of remdesivir from the China’s drug regulator.  Furthermore, BrightGene has not been licensed by the patent owner, Gilead Sciences, to produce remdesivir, nor has it obtained “the relevant qualifications” for mass production.  In fact, BrightGene is only allowed to make remdesivir in a small quantity for clinical research. BrightGene later was censured for disclosing inaccurate information and its board secretary who gave interviews regarding the disclosure was also reprimanded by the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

On the other hand, although Gilead’s remdesivir was tested in clinical trials at some hospitals in Wuhan, the Chinese Government has recently decided to suspend the drug trials in Jin Yin-tan hospital and in Bin Cao Beijing because they asserted the Covid-19 epidemic has been controlled well and no eligible patients can be recruited. Besides, Gilead Sciences lately said in a statement that it has temporarily stopped granting patients access to remdesivir due to overwhelming demand except for pregnant women and children with confirmed Covid-19. Remdesivir will only continued to be used for previously approved requests and exceptional cases.

While we still have to wait for further trials and research in order to obtain the cure for Covid-19, it is clear that the patent issue regarding Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir has been resolved satisfactorily because of China’s expeditious action through its competent authority.

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