A vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. PHOTO: AP
Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir has been authorized by US regulators for emergency use on coronavirus patients, President Donald Trump announced Friday.
US medical officials have announced evidence from a trial that remdesivir helped patients with serious cases of COVID-19 recover faster.
Trump has been a vocal supporter of remdesivir as a possible way to bring the novel coronavirus pandemic under control. Nearly 65,000 Americans have died in the global crisis.
Vanguard had earlier reported that the coronavirus patients on the antiviral remdesivir recovered more than 30 per cent faster than those on a placebo, the results of a major clinical trial showed Wednesday as a top US scientist hailed the drug’s “clear-cut” benefit.
It represents the first time any medication has been shown to improve outcomes against the coronavirus illness, which has claimed more than 200,000 lives globally and brought the world economy to a grinding halt.
Anthony Fauci, who oversaw the investigation, told reporters at the White House: “The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”
He added that the trial was proof “that a drug can block this virus,” and compared the finding to the arrival of the first antiretrovirals that worked against HIV in the 1980s, albeit with modest success at first.
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