The EU is in negotiations with the manufacturer of remdesivir – one of just two drugs proven to treat COVID-19 – after the United States brought nearly the entire world’s supply.
Brussels told Euronews that “multiple discussions” had been undertaken with the drug’s manufacturer, Gilead, which included “production capacity”.
“The European Commission is currently in negotiations with Gilead to reserve doses of Remdesivir for EU member states,” said Stefan de Keersmaecker, a spokesman for the European Commission.
“Protecting the health of all our citizens remains a key priority for the Commission.
“Our decision to speed up the process to grant marketing authorisation for remdesivir in the coming days shows our commitment to ensure that scientifically proven effective treatments for COVID-19 are available to EU citizens.”
De Keersmaecker said no further details could be given due to the confidentiality of the discussions.
The anti-viral drug patented by the US-based Gilead biotech firm is the only one approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to treat patients with the novel coronavirus.
The announcement from the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implies European health authorities may not be able to acquire any supplies until the autumn.
US authorities secured more than 500,000 treatment courses of the drug through September, which “represents 100 per cent of Gilead’s projected production for July (94,200 treatment courses), 90 per cent of production in August (174,900 treatment courses), and 90 per cent of production in September (232,800 treatment courses),” the HHS said in a statement.