Russian court rejects U.S firm's lawsuit over COVID-19 drug remdesivir

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) -Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a lawsuit from U.S. company Gilead Sciences that challenged a Russian government decision to let a Russian firm develop and market the anti-COVID-19 drug remdesivir without Gilead’s consent.

The Russian government late last year granted Russian drugmaker Pharmasyntez a compulsory licence for one year to manufacture the drug under a different name without Gilead’s permission.

The government said in a decree at the time that the move was in the interests of Russia’s own security. According to the decree, Russia had to pay compensation to the drug’s patent-holder. The amount was not specified.

Pharmasyntez had asked the Kremlin to allow it to produce a generic version of remdesivir before the government decree was issued. Vikram Punia, its director, said the company had also written to Gilead in July last year to try to obtain their consent in the form of a voluntary licence, but had not heard back.

Pharmasyntez produces remdesivir under the name Remdeform. A shipment of the drug was sent by Russia to India on Tuesday as part of a delivery of humanitarian aid.

Gilead’s Russia representative did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Gilead, in comments emailed to Reuters previously, said it had been disappointed by the Russian government’s decision to grant a compulsory licence to Pharmasyntez, saying the decision fell short of Russian legal requirements.

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