Beijing, Feb 5 (IANS) A Chinese institute has applied for a national patent on a potential coronavirus treatment developed by California-based pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences (GILD), according to media reports.
The coronavirus outbreak which originated in China’s Wuhan city has led to the death of over 490 people so far.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has applied for a patent in China for the use of Remdesivir, an antiviral therapy used to treat infectious diseases including Ebola and SARS, TheStreet reported on Wednesday.
The application was made on January 21 along with a military academy, according to a statement on the institute’s website.
Gilead Sciences on Tuesday reported that its total revenues for the fourth quarter of 2019 were $5.9 billion, compared to $5.8 billion for the same period in 2018.
Net income for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $2.7 billion, or $2.12 per diluted share, compared to net income of $3 million, or $0.00 per diluted share, for the same period in 2018.
If the potential coronavirus drug proves to be effective, it could significantly improve Gilead’s bottom-line going forward.
China’s epidemic-hit Wuhan had set up 132 quarantine sites by Tuesday, providing over 12,500 beds to cope with the surging number of patients confirmed or suspected to be infected with the novel coronavirus, Xinhua reported.
About 5,425 people are now under centralised quarantine for medical observation in Wuhan, said Hu Lishan, deputy secretary of CPC Wuhan Municipal Committee, at a press conference on the prevention and control of the novel coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday.
Since February 2, Wuhan has started to unconditionally hospitalise confirmed cases and put suspected cases in centralised quarantine for treatment. Patients with a fever or close contacts of confirmed or suspected cases will also be subject to centralized quarantine for medical observation.
As hospital beds are in short supply, Wuhan is gearing up to use private hospitals, hotels, schools and other places as designated quarantine sites for centralised isolation and observation of patients.