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EU signs joint procurement contract for remdesivir supply

FILE PHOTO: An ampule of Ebola drug Remdesivir is pictured during a news conference at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, Germany, April 8, 2020, as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues. Ulrich Perrey/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission said on Thursday it had signed a contract with U.S. drugmaker Gilead for the supply of up to 500,000 treatment courses for remdesivir, sharply increasing the supply of the COVID-19 treatment in Europe.

The Commission, which has overseen joint purchases of vaccines in the European Union, said there were 37 signatories to the agreement, including all EU countries, six Balkan candidate and potential EU members, Britain and the other European Economic Area countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Reporting by Marine Strauss and Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Edmund Blair