The European Commission has authorized the use of anti-viral drug remdesivir to treat severe cases of COVID-19.
The announcement was made on Friday July 3, days after the US effectively stockpiled the world’s entire supply of the antiviral medication. Its approval came after two major US studies showed that remdesivir can reduce the duration of hospital stay for COVID-19 patients.
EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement;
“Today’s authorisation of a first medicine to treat COVID-19 is an important step forward in the fight against this virus.
“We are granting this authorisation less than a month after the application was submitted, showing clearly the EU’s determination to respond quickly whenever new treatments become available.”
Remdesivir which is the only anti-coronavirus medication to be given the green light in the EU, was originally intended as a treatment for Ebola.
The green light comes on the recomendation of the European Medicines Agency which gave its conditional authorisation last week for the treatment of patients above 12 years of age who are suffering pneumonia and require extra oxygen.
It said its assessment was based mainly based on data from a study sponsored by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).