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18 May 2020updated 06 Oct 2020 9:45am

EU moves to approve Ebola drug for coronavirus

By Samir Jeraj

The European Union is expected to the drug remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19. Such a move would make it the first treatment authorised for the coronavirus.

The head of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), Guido Rasi said during a hearing at the European parliament earlier today that “a conditional market authorisation” could be issued in “the coming day”. A week earlier the EMA recommended “compassionate use” of remdesivir for patients with severe COVID‑19, meaning it could be administered to patients even without authorisation.

The remdesivir drug is being developed by the US-based company Gilead Sciences. The conditional authorisation would allow the drug to be sold in the European Union for a year, without meeting the usual threshold for evidence on its side-effects or effectiveness.

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