US Food and Drug Administration approves remdesivir to treat Covid-19

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday approved antiviral drug remdesivir for treating patients hospitalised with Covid-19, making it the first and only drug approved for the disease in the US, news wires reported. Remdesivir, given intravenously, was one of the drugs used to treat US President Donald Trump.

 

Remdesivir has been available under an FDA emergency use authorisation since May, after a study led by the National Institutes of Health showed it reduced hospital stays by five days. However, the WHO last week said its global trial of Covid-19 therapies found that remdesivir did not have a substantial effect on patients’ length of hospital stay or chances of survival. That study has not been reviewed by outside experts.

Gilead Sciences, the company producing the drug, said Veklury has regulatory approvals or temporary authorisations in about 50 countries. Gilead said it is still working to understand the full potential of remdesivir, in different settings and as part of combination therapy approaches. The company is also developing an inhaled version of the drug that might be used outside a hospital setting, if approved.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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