Remdesivir becomes the first treatment authorized by the FDA to battle COVID-19

Coronavirus

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Federal Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for remdesivri, making it the first treatment authorized to fight COVID-19.

An announcement from the University of Virginia said the authorization clears the use of remdesivir for hospitalized adults and children with severe cases of COVID-19 — such as patients on ventilators.

The drug was originally developed by Gilead Sciences to fight ebola. Virginia Commonwealth University said the way remdesivir works is it slows the infection of healthy cells is by mimicking the appearance of part of the virus and infiltrating the enzyme viruses can use to replicate themselves.

UVA and VCU have both been conducting clinical trials of the drug.

Trial results from UVA show the drug helped patients with advanced cases of the novel coronavirus recover 31 percent faster than patients who did not receive it. In addition, the median recovery time for patients who received remdesivir was 11 days and 15 days for people who got a placebo.

Gilead Sciences said its goal is to have millions of doses available by the end of the year.

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