The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the antiviral Veklury, commonly known as remdesivir, for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
What Happened: Gilead Sciences' GILD remdesivir is approved for patients that are at least 12 years of age. The treatment must be administered in hospitals or in a health care setting.
“Based on the strength of these data, Veklury has become a standard of care for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients,” the press release reads.
The treatment from Gilead went through three trials. Results showed the recovery time for hospitalized patients was improved by five days on average. Hospitalized patients who required oxygen saw their recovery lowered by seven days on average.
Why It’s Important: This is the first COVID-19 drug fully approved by the FDA, marking a significant step in the fight against COVID-19. Veklury has been approved or authorized for temporary use in around 50 countries for COVID-19 treatment.
COVID-19 has infected more than 41million worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Remdesivir will be widely available in hospitals across the country following investments made by Gilead for rapid manufacturing capacity to increase supply.
“We will continue to work at speed with the aim of enhancing patient outcomes with Veklury to ensue all patients with COVID-19 have the best chance at recovery,” said Gilead Chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day.
Ligand Pharmaceuticals LGND makes Captisol, one of the components used in remdesivir, and has already reported a surge in demand for its product from Gilead.
Price Action: The approval from Gilead comes after the stock hit a 52-week low Thursday. Gilead shares are up 4% in after-hours trading to $62.76.
Shares of Ligand closed 5% higher Thursday to $84.74.
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