U.S. regulators on Thursday approved the first drug to treat COVID-19: remdesivir, an antiviral medicine given to hospitalized patients through an IV.
The drug, which California-based Gilead Sciences Inc. is calling Veklury, cut the time to recovery by five days — from 15 days to 10 on average — in a large study led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
It had been authorized for use on an emergency basis since spring, and now becomes the first drug to win full Food and Drug Administration approval for treating COVID-19. President Donald Trump received it when he was sickened earlier this month.
Veklury is approved for people at least 12 years old and weighing at least 88 pounds who are hospitalized for a coronavirus infection. For patients younger than 12, the FDA will still allow the drug’s use in certain cases under its previous emergency authorization.
In other developments:
- President Donald Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus ahead of Thursday’s final presidential debate. Joe Biden’s campaign said that he, too, tested negative Thursday.
- Iowa plans to use millions of dollars in federal pandemic funds on a long-term plan to improve data management across state agencies, a second information technology project that may not fit the purpose of the aid.
- With vaccines against COVID-19 inching closer, U.S. regulators took an unusual step Thursday in asking outside scientists: Are the government's standards high enough to adequately judge the shots?
- Curfews were largely expanded Thursday across France, which registered some 41.600 new confirmed virus cases to approach a total of 1 million, while similar overnight restrictions were slapped on Italy's three biggest cities — Rome, Naples and Milan — as rapidly rising caseloads across Europe prompted tighter limits on everyday ways of life.
- The Las Vegas Raiders placed four starting offensive linemen and safety Johnathan Abram on the reserve/COVID-19 list after they were determined to be close contacts with a teammate who had tested positive for the coronavirus. The Raiders' Sunday game was also shifted out of primetime as the NFL investigates another possible virus outbreak.