The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States decided to speed up the emergency approval for the Ebola vaccine, which is reportedly able to treat coronavirus.
The use of Ebola drug remdesivir could help patients with severe COVID–19 to fight the infection. In the US, the emergency authorisation by the FDA means usage has been rushed through.
However, medical experts have since warned that the use of the Ebola drug, which is manufactured by Gilead pharmaceutical company, should not be seen as a “magic potion” for coronavirus. Just another antiviral drug, which could help epidemiologists to curb the infection.
The pharma firm is going to donate 1.5 million doses of the remdesivir to help during the coronacrisis. Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day was even invited to the White House for a meeting with President Donald Trump.
“It’s the first authorised therapy for Covid-19, so we’re really proud to be part of it,” FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, also present at the meeting, said.
Ebola vaccine: significant effect in diminishing the time to recovery from COVID-19
Meanwhile, the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) agreed that remdesivir shortened the duration of symptoms suffered by patients with COVID-19. As the clinical trials showed, 1063 different patients with the virus in hospitals around the world recovered for 11 days instead of 15.
Head of NIAID, Dr Anthony Fauci, said that the use of remdesivir had a “clear cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery”.
Even so, while the drug may speed up recovery, and potentially stop the need for some patients to be treated in intensive care, there was no clear evidence it could actually prevent further deaths from the virus.
Meanwhile, in the UK, a potential treatment that uses plasma from recovered patients is being trialled at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital in London. Transfusions are expected to begin in the next few weeks.