Coronavirus test swab
Coronavirus test swabiStock

American biotech company Gilead Sciences announced that its new experimental drug has been proven effective against the novel coronavirus according to a study by the US government.

The drug, remdesivir, is the first treatment for the coronavirus to pass the study conducted by the National Institutes of Health. The study tested the effectiveness of the drug compared to normal care in 800 coronavirus patients around the world and measured the differences in recovery time.

Remdesivir was developed to combat other diseases which are caused by similar viruses such as SARS and MERS. The drug has been closely watched by healthcare professionals as a possible means to mitigate the coronavirus crisis. The study could pave the way for the US Food and Drug Administration to fast-track an emergency approval of remdesivir. No country has currently approved the use of the drug.

Gilead Sciences shares rose 5.7% in response to the announcement of the study while the S&P 500 rose 2.4%.