EU approves Covid-19 drug remdesivir

The first drug to treat severe cases of Covid-19 in the European Union has been given the green light, with the European Commission approving remdesivir on Friday.

It is the first time the EU's executive arm has granted the approval to a Covid-19 drug and was the last step for remdesivir to be given the full the go-ahead.

Remdesivir, manufactured by U.S. biotech company Gilead Sciences, was originally developed as an Ebola treatment.

This decision follows a recommendation from the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which last week said that the drug - sold under the name Veklury - should be approved for treating Covid-19 patients over the age of 12 who require supplemental oxygen.

An international study at the end of April with over 1,000 participants showed that remdesivir could reduce the time needed for Covid-19 patients to recover from 15 to 11 days on average.

Friday's approval comes shortly after the U.S. government had announced an agreement with Gilead Sciences, according to which it bought up almost all of the drug supplies for the upcoming months. On Thursday, the European Commission said it was also in talks with the company to secure sufficient doses for the EU.

We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to secure efficient treatments or vaccine against the coronavirus,

Stella Kyriakides, the EU's health commissioner, said in a statement.

Cover photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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