Axios: “Trump officials’ dysfunction harms delivery of coronavirus drug”

Politico: “Gilead has said it is not involved in deciding which U.S. hospitals or states get remdesivir shipments. Yet at least one health system, Northwell Health… [said] Gilead recommended that its 23 hospitals receive the drug”

READ: FOIA requests to FEMA and HHS

Washington, DC – Today, after the Trump Administration announced a new plan to distribute the COVID-19 treatment remdesivir following reports of widespread dysfunction and incompetence in their initial distribution plan, Patients Over Pharma sent Freedom of Information Act requests to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to attempt to bring to light any behind-the-scenes malfeasance or attempts by Gilead Sciences to inappropriately influence the process.

“If there is one thing you would hope to get from a Big Pharma executive running HHS it’s effective distribution of prescription drugs, so we think the public has the right to know how this got bungled so badly, how Gilead was involved, and how the Trump Administration can ensure that this never happens again,”said Eli Zupnick, spokesman for Patients Over Pharma. “This is also another good reminder that patients shouldn’t have to count on the good graces of Big Pharma to get affordable COVID-19 treatments, especially ones that were developed using taxpayer dollars.”

Background: Remdesivir developed with taxpayer support

Remdesivir, Originally Labeled GS-5734, Was Discovered Through A Collaboration Between Gilead, CDC And The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute Of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) On Ebola Treatments. “GS-5734 is a monophosphoramidate prodrug of an adenosine analog that was discovered through a collaboration among Gilead, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. Discovered in 2014, the compound already has been shown to wipe out signs of the virus in monkeys.” [American Chemical Society – Chemical & Engineering News, 7/6/16]

October 2015: Gilead Press Release Confirmed GS-5734 Was Identified In Collaboration With CDC And USAMRIID. “GS-5734 was discovered as part of Gilead’s program to screen compounds in its libraries for activity against a range of potential emerging viruses, including Ebola. In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the company identified GS-5734 in vitro activity against the Ebola virus. In animal studies conducted at USAMRIID, treatment initiated on day 3 post-infection with Ebola virus resulted in 100 percent survival of monkeys.” [Gilead press release, 10/21/15]

March 2016 Study Of Effect Of GS-5734 In Monkeys Was Led By Researchers At USAMRIID. “Travis Warren, Ph.D., a principal investigator at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and first author of the paper, said the work published today is the result of continuing collaborations between USAMRIID and Gilead Sciences of Foster City, Calif. Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also contributed by performing initial screening of the Gilead Sciences compound library to find molecules with promising antiviral activity. That initial work identified the precursor to GS-5734, a small-molecule antiviral agent, which led to the effort by Gilead and USAMRIID to further refine, develop and profile the compound. Led by USAMRIID Science Director Sina Bavari, Ph.D., the paper’s senior author, the research team used cell culture and animal models to demonstrate the compound’s antiviral activity against several pathogens, including Ebola virus.” [USAMRIID press release, 3/3/16]

Initial GS-5734 Studies Were Conducted With Funding From The Department Of Defense And CDC. “These studies were in part supported by The Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JSTO-CBD) of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under Plan No. CB10218. CDC core funding supported the work done by M.K.L. at CDC.” [Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 1/26/17]

2016: Department Of Defense Awarded $1.2M To Gilead To Fund A Study On Ebola Treatment. In 2016, the Department of Defense awarded Gilead $1,196,950 for a “blinded randomized controlled study for Ebola.” [, start date 5/12/16]

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