EU executive signs remdesivir deal with Gilead

BRUSSELS, July 29 (Reuters) - The European Union’s executive said on Wednesday it has signed a contract with Gilead for its COVID-19 medicine remdesivir that would cover 30,000 patients in the bloc from early August.

“The Commission signed a contract with the pharmaceutical company Gilead for ensuring treatment doses of Veklury - the brand name for remdesivir. As of early August onwards, batches of this medicine Veklury will be made available to member states and the UK,” a spokeswoman for the European Commission, Dana Spinant, told a regular news briefing.

She said the contract was worth 63 million euros ($73.99 million) and would provide treatment to 30,000 patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“This first batch will therefore address just immediate needs. At the same time, the Commission is also now preparing joint procurement for further supplies of this medicine, which will cover additional needs from October onwards,” she said. ($1 = 0.8515 euros) (Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Jan Strupczewski, editing by Louise Heavens)