Beximco introduces Remdesivir for COVID-19 treatment

DHAKA, May 21, 2020 (BSS) – Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical giant, Beximco
Pharmaceuticals today appeared to be the pioneer in launching antiviral
Remdesivir for critical COVID-19 patients, weeks after the drug obtained US
drug agency’s approval for combating coronavirus.

“We are pleased to be the first generic company in the world to introduce
this very important drug for treating the hospitalized COVID-19 patients,”
Beximco Pharma’s managing director Nazmul Hassan Papon MP announced marking
the launching of the medicine.

Beximco Pharma became the first company across the globe in launching a
generic version of the highly anticipated drug while the company in a
statement said it would brand the medicine as “Bemsivir”.

Papon handed over the first batch of medicine to health minister Zahed
Maleque to mark the drug’s introduction at the ministry saying “we have
decided to provide Bemsivir free of cost to all those severely ill patients
of government hospitals” which provide patients free treatments.

Beximco in a statement said it was also the first drug to be found
effective in stopping the replication of SARS-CoV-2.

US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this month granted the
multinational Gilead Science Inc. “emergency use authorisation” clearing the
way for broader use.

“It’s the first authorized therapy for COVID-19, so we’re really proud to
be part of it,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said while announcing the FDA
approval.

Doctors and health experts, however, said the drug was found to be curing
COVID-19 patients in 11 days compared to 15 days when the patients were not
given it.

But simultaneously they awaited the drug like this as it might alter the
course of the disease that attacks the lungs and can shut down other organs
in extremely severe cases.

Gilead said the drug, which is given by intravenous infusion, had helped
improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused
by the novel coronavirus, and provided data suggesting it worked better when
given earlier in the course of infection.

The launching ceremony of the drug at the health ministry was joined as
well by health secretary Md. Asadul Islam, Secretary of health education Md.
Ali Noor, director general of drug administration Major General Md Mahbubur
Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s personal physician Professor Dr. A B M
Abdullah and Central Medical Stores Depot director Brigadier General Md.
Shahidullah.

“Beximco Pharma, listed on the Alternate investment Market (AIM) of London
Stock Exchange, was the first company in Bangladesh to apply for regulatory
approval, duly completing all the processes, strictly in compliance with
local regulations,” the company statement read.

It added Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) granted
Emergency Use Authorization to Beximco Pharma’s Remdesivir IV Injection
(under the brand name Bemsivir) on May 21, 2020 following a thorough
evaluation.