Government of India approved Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral drug remdesivir for emergency use for five doses in treating Covid-19 patients.
Remdesivir, which is administered intravenously in hospital, is the first drug to show improvement in Covid-19 patients in formal clinical trials. The drug was granted emergency use authorisation by the US Food and Drug Administration last month and has received approval by Japanese health regulators. The drug is being administered in some countries under compassionate use rules.
The Drugs Controller General of India said in an email statement that “(Remdesivir) approved on June 1 under emergency use with condition for five dose administration.”
The approval comes a day after the US drugmaker reported that remdesivir 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 has been approved for the treatment of adults and children with severe Covid-19, the Indian Express newspaper reported on Tuesday, citing sources.
The company signed non-exclusive license agreements last month with five generic drug manufacturers based in India and Pakistan, including Cipla Ltd and Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd, to expand the supply of this drug.
Governments are rushing to boost the supply of remdesivir, with European and South Korean authorities fighting over the potential Covid-19 treatment.
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