European Commission approves remdesivir to treat coronavirus


The European Commission says it has approved the use of the medication remdesivir to treat severe cases of Covid-19 in the European Union.

“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 press release.

The approval from the EU’s executive arm, issued on Friday, was the last step for the drug to be given the green light.

It is the first medicine to gain such a go-ahead for use in the EU.

It 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.

Remdesivir, manufactured by US biotech company Gilead Sciences, was originally developed as an Ebola treatment, but it had little effect.

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.