Gilead Sciences – The Coronavirus Vaccine Manufacturer Accused Of Bioterrorism

Gilead Sciences is an American biotechnology company holding the patent for drug Remdesivir for treating various Coronavirus in over 70 countries. The company has secured orphan drug status for Remdesivir, allowing it to exclusively obtain marketing revenues for up to 7 years. However, behind the benign image of a vaccine manufacturer, Gilead Science has a dark history of allegations of bioterrorism, including having Pentagon to bomb a competitors factory under the false pretext of association with Al-Qaeda.

Gilead Sciences - A Vaccine Manufacturer Accused Of Bioterrorism
Gilead Sciences – Coronavirus Vaccine Manufacturer Accused Of Bioterrorism

Secret Bioweapons Program in Georgia

After studying files released online by a former Georgian minister, Russian Defense Ministry declared that an illegal bioweapons research program may have been conducted under the guise of clinical trials by a U.S. funded biomedical laboratory in Georgia, killing 73 subjects.

It was former Georgian minister for state security, Igor Giorgadze who had revealed these findings pertaining to the secret laboratory in September, 2018. The tests were conducted by The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research near the capital of Georgia, Tbilisi. The data obtained amounted to 100,000 pages of classified information of incidents involving military research, biological weapons and even clinical experiments resulting in deaths of their citizens.

The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research near Tbilisi, Georgia © stringer © Sputnik
The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research near Tbilisi, Georgia © stringer © Sputnik

“The documents showed many lethal outcomes among the patients. Despite the deaths of 24 people in December 2015 alone, the clinical trials were continued in violation of international standards and the wishes of the patients,” Kirillov claimed. “This led to the deaths of 49 more people.”

Igor Kirillov, the Head of the Russian Forces for radiological, chemical and biological weapons was of the opinion that with the Sovaldi tests, the pharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences was testing out illegal arms for the Pentagon.

India arm-twisted over Gilead’s Sovaldi

In 2015, before U.S. President Barrack Obama’s visit, India had rejected Gilead Science’s patent for Sovaldi, which meant Indian firms could distribute a generic version of the drug at lower prices and in greater volume. This sent shockwaves to the Pentagon and the decision was reversed. Indian pharmaceutical industry had to tweak its IPR laws and give the IP rights to Gilead Sciences.

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Bombing rival factory in Sudan

Former U.S. Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld was once the Managing Director of Gilead Sciences. It was an “amazing coincidence” that the drug Tamiflu patented by Gilead Sciences was pushed by the National Institutes of Allergies and Infectious Diseases as its top choice of drug to combat flu, while Rumsfeld, around 2004, held a stake in Gilead Sciences worth $5 million to $25 million. Tamiflu was reportedly expected to remain in short supply for as long as a year just as the purchase of $2 billion of the drug by the U.S. government got underway using scare tactics.

Donald Rumsfeld Gilead Sciences
Donald Rumsfeld former Chairman of Gilead Sciences

Donald Rumsfeld’s profiteering with Gilead extends into the area of warfare as well. In 1997, he initiated research on bioterrorism with work on a molecule called Cidofovir, which was traditionally used in the treatment of smallpox. In 1998, Donald Rumsfeld convinced Bill Clinton to bomb a factory of Al-Shifa, a rival and competitor of Gilead in Sudan, under the pretext that the Company was manufacturing chemical weapons for Al-Qaeda.

Fake Pandemic, Real Profits

Gilead’s flu drug, Tamiflu, originally manufactured by Gilead Sciences, was criticized for being ineffective and even harmful. Chairman of Gilead Sciences Donald Rumsfeld and Board Member of Gilead, Former U.S. Secretary of State, George Schultz profited heavily from a $1.5 billion stockpiling by the U.S. government on Tamiflu leading up to the 2009 H1N1 “swine flu” outbreak.

The interesting part is, Gilead was part of the vaccine lobby at whose behest the WHO faked the H1N1 pandemic in 2009, and kept it a secret from people until committees were setup which exposed the entire racket.

In March, 2014, the US FDA approved a daily pill that could cure the most common form of hepatitis C for a whopping $1,125-per-pill price. The Harvoni combination pill was targeted at patients with the liver-destroying virus that accounted for 70% of the estimated 3.2 million cases in the U.S.

Harvoni was hardly the first “blockbuster” Gilead had. Its Sovaldi drug plus a cocktail of two other drugs cost close to $95,000 for 12 weeks, on average, per the Company.

Remdesivir – The Coronavirus Drug

Gilead holds exclusive patents for the drug Remdesivir in over 70 countries. In March 2020, Gilead fought to maintain its patent on remdesivir as a treatment for several coronavirus, initiating legal conflicts with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, from where it is believed COVID-19 was weaponized and leaked.

Soon after Gilead received approval as an “Orphan drug” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on March 24th, 2020. The orphan drug label implies tremendous tax benefits, government funding support, exclusivity and price control for the drug manufacturer. According to Bank of America analysts quoted in the U.S. press, Gilead could pocket up to $2.5 billion thanks to its anti-viral drug.

 

Doctors Without Borders along with over 150 organisations and individuals said it was “Unacceptable for Gilead’s Remdesivir to be put under the Company’s exclusive control,” news agency AFP reported.

However, in a letter to the Financial Times of London, Gilead Sciences Chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day backed off from the orphan drug privileges by stating, “If it is approved, we will work to ensure affordability and access so that Remdesivir is available to patients with the greatest need.” The Company followed up with an announcement of a donation of 1.5 million doses of Remdesivir, which could treat 140,000 patients.

It remains to be seen what countries does Gilead chooses to donate to and beyond the donations, whether Gilead prices Remdesivir reasonably, particularly in developed countries.

The WHO officials have been advocating Remdesivir as the best shot for treating Coronavirus, however experts have raised concern over whether Gilead’s Remdesivir can treat Coronavirus.

For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage.

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