FDA Allowed Compassionate Use of Gilead’s Ebola Drug to Treat Coronavirus

by Stephen Riddle
FDA Allowed Compassionate Use of Gilead’s Ebola Drug to Treat Coronavirus

The novel strain of coronavirus continues to spread worldwide. There are more than 80,000 confirmed cases of the illness worldwide. So far, the virus has killed over 2,500 people. Meanwhile, researchers and pharmaceutical companies are making every possible effort to find medication to treat and combat the illness. Unlike other agencies, the FDA is also functioning to tackle the disease. One of the latest programs of the FDA has permitted access to unauthorized medicines. As a result, experts are treating hundreds of corona-affected people with remdesivir, Gilead’s experimental Ebola treatment drug. Officials at the WHO and the CDC are touting one of the most hopeful antivirals to battle the new strain of coronavirus.

Reportedly, as of Monday, Washington state health officials have reported death of up to 24 people in the region. On Tuesday, Robert Redfield, the CDC director, said experts have already deployed pathogen-fighting COVID-19 drug of Gilead in the state. Apart from this, researchers are experimenting with Gilead’s medication in China. They are seeking whether remdesivir can treat infected patients effectively. Thus Gilead Sciences, Inc. hopes to know by April whether the drug is combating the virus that causes COVID-19. Ryan McKeel, a Gilead representative, said it has already offered remdesivir on expanded access basis to cure some hundred patients having confirmed COVID-19 infection in the U.S., Japan, and Europe. Compassionate use or expanded access enables patients with fatal conditions, who have no choice, to try untried treatments without clinical trials.

Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that it has had offered remdesivir to gravely sick patients in Japan. The effort is a part of an alliance with America’s Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the U.S. Embassy in Japan, Gilead Sciences Inc., and the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. So far, remdesivir has revealed promising results in animal trials as a potential cure for MERS and SARS. On the other hand, Gilead has accelerated the production of an experimental medication. Amid rapidly spreading lethal march of COVID-19, Gilead’s medicine has become a center of attraction for expectations of a powerful therapy for coronavirus.

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