PHARMACEUTICAL giants Roche and Gilead have decided to combine forces and mix their drugs Tocilizumab and Remdesivir together in a desperate bid to come up with a cure for the dreaded Covid-19 virus.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic last year, scientists worldwide have been desperately searching for a cure for the virus but so far, no drug has proved effective against it. Pharmaceutical companies have been working around the clock to come up with both a vaccine and a cure for the virus but so far, none has been able to crack the nit.
Several drugs are in the clinical stage of trials but it is feared that a known cure may not be found until the autumn of this year at the earliest. In a bid to cut short the waiting time, Swiss company Roche and US pharmaceutical giant Gilead have opted to work together in the hope that a hybrid drug may work.
Both companies are planning to test whether a mixture of the arthritis drug Tocilizumab and the antiviral medicine Remdesivir could treat severe cases of Covid-19 effectively. Their collaboration is now in its phase three of clinical trials and should the experiment prove effective, the new drug will be unveiled later this year.
Under the terms of their arrangement, Tocilizumab, which is sold under the brand names Actemra and RoAcemtra, will be combined with Remdesivir and offered to hospitalised patients with severe Covid-19 pneumonia. In the past, Gilead has faced several class-action lawsuits over allegations that it deliberately delayed the development of antiretroviral drugs based in order to maximise profits from previous-generation medications.