India approves Remdesivir to treat severe COVID-19 cases

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 03, 2020, 02.48 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in India Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug, which is administered intravenously in hospital, is the first drug to show improvement in COVID-19 patients in formal clinical trials and is at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, which has no approved treatment or vaccine.

India has approved Remdesivir for emergency use for five doses in treating COVID-19 patients.

Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug, which is administered intravenously in hospital, is the first drug to show improvement in COVID-19 patients in formal clinical trials and is at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, which has no approved treatment or vaccine.

"(DCGI) has granted regulatory approval of (remdesivir) for treatment of suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalised with severe disease," Gilead said in an email on Wednesday.

"(Remdesivir) approved on June 1 under emergency use with condition for five dose administration," the Drugs Controller General of India said in an email on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Gilead said the drug showed modest benefit in patients with moderate COVID-19 given a five-day course, while those who received it for 10 days in the study did not fare as well.

The drug was granted emergency use authorisation by the US Food and Drug Administration last month and has received approval by Japanese health regulators.

Earlier in the day, South Korea approved the drug's emergency use and said it will cooperate with Gilead for its swift import.

Also read | South Korea approves emergency use of Remdesivir to treat COVID-19

India's coronavirus infections crossed 200,000, latest official figures showed, with the death toll at 5,815.

Gilead had signed non-exclusive licensing pacts last month with five generic drugmakers in India and Pakistan. The company anticipates new supply to start to become available in July.

Governments are racing to bolster supplies of Remdesivir, with Europe also vying for the treatment. 

(with inputs)