What Gilead wants its remdesivir bottle to look like. Photo: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Gilead Sciences is still testing its potential coronavirus treatment, but here's a sign the company may be expecting good news: It has applied for a trademark for the drug's packaging.

Why it matters: "The reason you make this trademark is because you think you're going to get a product out there soon," said Josh Gerben, a trademark lawyer who first noticed Gilead's application. "This is part of your brand protection."

The big picture: Gilead's drug, remdesivir, is seen as a promising candidate to treat the novel coronavirus, but is still undergoing clinical trials and hasn't been proven to work.

  • Gilead is slated to release new data on remdesivir data later this month, from randomized trials in China.
  • Filing for a packaging trademark indicates the company is seriously thinking about this drug's branding and mass distribution.

What they're saying: A Gilead spokesperson says the trademark application "is par for the course" and "entirely consistent with our stated responsibility to plan for a potential regulatory authorization should remdesivir be proven safe and effective."

Gilead has already trademarked the same blue-and-gray bottle top and white labeling in other federally approved drugs.

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