New COVID-19 drug is 'biggest step forward' since coronavirus crisis began

Remdesivir

The release said DSHS reviewed the distribution methodology with the Infectious Disease Task Force Rapid Assessment Subcommittee, Texas Hospital Association, and the chair of the Texas Health Care Industry Strike Force on COVID-19.

"[There are several] trials testing the efficacy of remdesivir against [SARs-CoV-2] - some of which have been unsuccessful - but others, such as the double-blind adaptive COVID-19 treatment trial, have shown that hospitalised COVID-19 patients recovered faster (median 4 days) than patients not receiving remdesivir", said Gino Martini, chief scientist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Under the pact, Gilead would also transfer the technology for the complex manufacturing process of the intravenous drug to these, and the sale would be royalty-free till an alternative medicine for covid-19 is found or if the World Health Organisation were to withdraw the status of "public health emergency of an global concern" for the disease. "Texas will continue to act swiftly to provide for our hospitals, secure treatment for patients, and slow the spread of COVID-19". For the time being and due to limited supplies, treatment will be prioritised for patients who have the greatest likelihood of deriving the most benefit.

More promising was an worldwide trial, which found it reduced the median recovery period of patients in hospital with Covid-19 from 15 days to 11 days. The drug is to be made available to carefully selected NHS patients through the Early Access to Medicines Scheme, a programme that allows medicines to be used in emergency situations before they have been licensed, the drugs provided free by the company. It is also not a recommendation for use.

This shows fantastic progress.

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Hancock told the Downing Street press briefing that the drug had given promising early results and that if the United Kingdom trials were successful health officials would be prioritising the use of the treatment where it would provide the greatest benefit. The powdered formulation allows for children hospitalized with COVID-19 to be able to receive it as treatment.

The global trial involves about 1,000 patients from hospitals including the UK, US, France, Italy and China.

Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine that was originally developed to fight Ebola.

The Respiratory Clinical Trials Unit in Hull is one of the centres which runs a trial of remdesivir. "It is great news that the United Kingdom regulator has approved the use of remdesivir for hospitalised patients with Covid-19 [under the scheme]".

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