Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil has announced that the American company Gilead Sciences for Pharmaceutical Production is currently considering producing a new drug to cure Hepatitis C in Egypt, in cooperation with one of the Egyptian companies working in the field of pharmaceuticals, creating a production and marketing axis for all African markets.
The minister said that the new drug is currently being presented to the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and that final approvals for its production are being awaited, with production set to begin in August. Initial studies of the drug show that it will cure different genetic types of the virus, including the fourth type, which is pervasive in Egypt.
Kabil added that the company’s project in Egypt will be implemented in two phases. The first one includes importing raw materials and packaging them in Egypt in cooperation with an Egyptian company. The second phase includes total manufacturing of the drug after the transfer of the necessary technologies and experiences required for production. The company also aims to produce other drugs in Egypt and export them to African markets. These drugs would include treatment of fatty liver, in addition to several other dangerous viruses spread across the continent.
For his part, Graeme Robertson, director of the company in Africa, said that the cure rate of the new drug is 98%. The treatment period takes about two months. It would be used for patients who have not responded to the drugs currently used, noting that Egypt is the only African country that has the required potential and infrastructure to produce Hepatitis C drugs.