By Spy Correspondent
Brussels: The European Commission said on Friday it had given conditional approval for the use of antiviral remdesivir in severe COVID-19 patients following an accelerated review process, making it the region’s first authorised therapy to treat the virus.
“Today’s authorization of a first medicine to treat COVID-19 is an important step forward in the fight against this virus,”said Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, in a statement.
“We will leave no stone un turned in our efforts to secure efficient treatments or vaccine against the coronavirus,” she added.
The Commission said on Wednesday it was in negotiations with Gilead to obtain doses of remdesivir for the 27 European Union countries then after others will also receive.
Under this authorization, Veklury is indicated for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents (aged 12 years and older and weighing at least 40 kg), with pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen.
“We appreciate the European Medicines Agency’s rapid review of remdesivir in recognition of the unprecedented nature of this pandemic,” said Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences. “This conditional marketing authorization is an important step forward as we work together to address the treatment needs of patients across Europe.”
The move comes just a week after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gave its go-ahead for the drug, produced by Gilead Sciences (GILD.O), to be used in adults and adolescents from 12 years of age who are also suffering from pneumonia and require oxygen support.
It also comes just days after the company allocated nearly all of its supply of remdesivir to the United States over the next three months, stirring concerns about availability elsewhere.
“We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to secure efficient treatments or vaccine against the coronavirus,” said Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, in a statement.
The Commission said on Wednesday it was in negotiations with Gilead to obtain doses of remdesivir for the 27 European Union countries.
Remdesivir is in high demand after the intravenously-administered medicine helped to shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial.