FDA allows use of drug for coronavirus

Food and Drug Administration allows emergency use of experimental drug remdesivir, which appears to help some patients recover faster.

Arutz Sheva North America Staff ,

Recovering coronavirus patient
Recovering coronavirus patient

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday allowed emergency use of an experimental drug that appears to help some coronavirus patients recover faster, The Associated Press reports.

US President Donald Trump announced the news at the White House alongside FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, who said the drug would be available for patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

The FDA acted after preliminary results from a government-sponsored study showed that Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir shortened the time to recovery by 31%, or about four days on average, for hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The study of 1,063 patients is the largest and most strict test of the drug and included a comparison group that received just usual care so remdesivir’s effects could be rigorously evaluated.

Those given the drug were able to leave the hospital in 11 days on average versus 15 days for the comparison group.

The drug also might be reducing deaths, although that is not certain from the partial results revealed so far.

The FDA authorized the drug under its emergency powers to quickly speed experimental drugs, tests and other medical products to patients during public health crises.

The FDA can convert the drug's status to full approval if Gilead or other researchers provide additional data of remdesivir’s safety and effectiveness.

Meanwhile on Friday, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 1,062,446 cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of 30,787 cases from its previous count.

The number of deaths, it said, had risen by 2,349 to 62,406.

The US surpassed 60,000 domestic deaths from the novel coronavirus on Wednesday, a day after it recorded its one millionth coronavirus case.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)