Wuhan Institute of Virology (China) Sought to Patent Gilead’s Remdesivir

Wuhan Institute of Virology (China) Sought to Patent Gilead’s Remdesivir

Gilead’s experimental drug remdesivir shows possibly the most promise of all experimental COVID-19 vaccine prospects as evidenced by China’s reported possible move, via the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to patent the drug to treat coronavirus. The experimental drug isn’t licensed or approved anywhere yet, but it surely looks promising. Both remdesivir and chloroquine show promise, according to Chinese authorities.

The Promise of Remdesivir

According to a report from IPRdaily, Gilead’s Remdesivir, a new antiviral drug of nucleotide analogs’ group, was initially introduced by Gilead to fight the Ebola virus, but the results there were not successful. However, at one point The New England Journal of Medicine promulgated that Remdesivir could challenge the brand-new coronavirus, as at some point an American patient with 2019-nCoV was prescribed the drug and doctors observed after about a week conditions improved. NEJM did advocate the use of randomly controlled trials to produce more evidence.

Chinese researchers observed that Remdesivir and chloroquine, a malaria treatment, could have an impact in slowing down the coronavirus.

The Move for a Patent Application

On January 21, it was reported that China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences filed a patent for commercial use of remdesivir in China. Also involved is the Military Medicine Institute of that nation. They sought to secure this patent “out of national interest” and noted they were not interested in enforcement should foreign pharma companies seek to collaborate in China to stop the pandemic. An IP attorney based in Shanghai, China observed that the Wuhan Institute of Virology would be wise to secure approval from the drug’s maker and owner—Gilead.

Remdesivir-based Clinical Trials in China

As TrialSite News has reported, Remdesivir is currently an experimental drug in use in at least a couple clinical trial programs in China. In one clinical trial, Jin Yin-tan Hospital in WuHan and others are conducting a study sponsored by Capital Medical University and the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences for up to 308 patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms. In another study concerning patients with severe COVID-19 conditions, Capital Medical University is sponsoring another study led by professor Bin Cao.

According to one report, the Chinese Healthcare Department has selected the Friendship Hospital in Beijing for conducting an additional study, including one with 270 coronavirus patients.


It could be deemed a provocative move for the local Wuhan institute to attempt to patent the Gilead drug without working with them. Remdesivir currently has entered China via clinical trials for patients with novel coronavirus.  According to reports, the Northern California-based biotech has distributed at least enough doses for 500 patients—they are purportedly ramping up for more supply in case the clinical trials fail. Gilead’s chief medical officer reports that Remdesivir is being tested in at least two clinical trials in China.

Category: Remdesivir, Coronavirus, COVID-19, China, Patent, Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences