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US regulators allow remdesivir for all hospitalized coronavirus patients

The FDA will now let doctors treat all hospitalized COVID-19 patients with the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir.

U.S. regulators are now allowing use of experimental antiviral drug remdesivir for all patients hospitalized with COVID-19, drugmaker Gilead Sciences said Friday.

It said the Food and Drug Administration has expanded its emergency use authorization, which lets doctors administer the IV drug during the pandemic. Until now, that was limited to patients with severe COVID-19.

Foster City, California-based Gilead applied to the FDA on Aug. 10 for formal approval of remdesivir, to be sold under the brand name Veklury.

Gilead said in a statement that the expanded emergency use was based on results of a recent federal study of hospitalized patients with different levels of severity, plus a Gilead study published a week ago. Gilead’s study found that among hospitalized patients with moderate COVID-19, those getting remdesivir were 65% more likely to improve after a five-day treatment course than those just getting standard care.

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Remdesivir previously was shown to shorten treatment by about four days for hospitalized patients with severe disease, compared with those getting standard supportive care.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, a vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States.