The experimental anti-viral drug remdesivir has been granted emergency authorization by the US’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday to be used to treat coronavirus.
The decision comes after a recent clinical trial showed the drug improved the outcomes for patients with severe Covid-19.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the US released data showing the remdesivir reduced hospitalization stays by 31 percent compared to a placebo treatment. However, the drug did not significantly improve chances of survival.
Remdesivir was created by biopharmaceutical company Gilead Science, which said it will donate 1.5 million vials of the drug to help patients in hospitals in US cities hardest hit by the coronavirus. The donation is expected to be enough for at least 140,000 patients, depending on the number of days they need to be treated.
The company said due to a limited supply, hospitals with intensive care units and other hospitals the government deems most in need will receive priority.
Speaking in the Oval Office on Friday, Donald Trump praised the drug and called it a “very promising situation.”
Remdesivir was also touted earlier in the week by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease specialist, who said that clinical trials in the United States and a number of other countries, including Greece, “shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”