Results of these two trials have raised hope that remdesivir could emerge as a possible treatment for COVID-19, leading US President Donald Trump to express his wish that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approve the antiviral as soon as possible so that it can be administered against the virus.
The study of 1,063 patients is the largest and most strict test of the drug and included a control group that received just usual care, so remdesivir's effects could be rigorously evaluated. A US -led study released this week showed that patients who got the drug recovered in an average of 11 days, while those who get a placebo recovered in 15 days.
Also on Wednesday, results were published by the Lancet medical journal of a trial conducted in China that concluded remdesivir failed to improve patients' condition or reduce the pathogen's presence in the bloodstream. Given the severity of illness of patients appropriate for remdesivir treatment and the limited availability of drug supply, hospitals with intensive care units and other hospitals that the government deems most in need will receive priority in the distribution of remdesivir. Early data results show instead of a sick patient taking 15 days to recover, with Remdesivir it takes approximately 11 days.
Previously, the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were approved by the FDA to treat the CCP virus. "I think its great news though, I think it is going to be a huge difference", said him.
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Many of these patients are also thought to have been at private care homes, according to Hertfordshire County Council. Six people died in hospital, one person died at home and two died in care homes the following week.
"Remdesivir (GS-5734™) is authorized for use under a EUA only for the treatment of patients with suspected or laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and severe Covid-19 disease", the company said.
Gilead on Thursday said it can produce several million doses of the drug in 2021. The drug will be made available to patients free of charge, said Daniel O'Day, the company's managing director.
The FDA warned doctors late last month against prescribing the drug outside of hospital or research settings, due to risks of sometimes fatal heart side effects.
Tracey said one clinical trial targets patients who appear moderately ill with the virus, while the other is for patients in the ICU with lung failure and low oxygen levels.
"I can assure you that we're all focused on making sure that we make this accessible and affordable to patients around the globe", he said. Experts also stressed that the emergency use is not the same as full approval. "It has been shown to have great promise in the lab and in animal models and for the first time now in human clinical trials", Subramanian told Fox News.