Friday 23 October 2020
Remdesivir is said to significantly accelerate the recovery of Covid-19 patients. However, the effectiveness is controversial in studies. Now the drug is officially approved in the USA for the treatment of people infected with corona.
The US FDA has officially approved the antiviral drug Remdesivir for the treatment of Covid-19 patients. This is an “important scientific milestone in the Covid-19 pandemic,” said FDA spokesman Stephen Hahn. In May, the drug, which is to be marketed by the US company Gilead under the name “Veklury”, had already received an exemption for the treatment of infections with Sars-CoV-2.
“Veklury” is so far the only drug specifically aimed at the treatment of Covid 19 patients that has been approved after a rigorous test process, Gilead said. However, other drugs are already available after special approval. The EU and other countries have already issued conditional marketing authorizations for Remdesivir.
The antiviral drug was actually developed by Gilead to treat Ebola. According to US studies, its benefit lies in a statistically significant reduction in the recovery time of Covid 19 patients. A reduction in the death rate from the drug has not been proven. US President Donald Trump was treated with remdesivir, among other things, during his Covid 19 illness.
WHO doubts effectiveness
There had been a dispute from the beginning about the suitability of remdesivir as an anti-corona agent. In April, Chinese scientists published a study in the journal “The Lancet”, according to which “no statistically significant clinical benefit” could be identified from the use of remdesivir in corona patients. The Gilead group and the renowned US virologist Anthony Fauci had described the study results from China as not meaningful – there were too few test subjects.
A study by the World Health Organization (WHO) published last week concluded that remdesivir had little or no effect on the mortality or length of hospital stay of corona patients.
According to Gilead, “Veklury” is intended for people over the age of twelve who weigh at least 40 kilos. It should only be injected in a hospital or similar facility.