FDA approves Gilead Science's remdesivir as COVID-19 treatment

Vials of the drug Remdesivir are pictured during a press conference at the University Hospital Eppendorf (UKE) in Hamburg, Germany on April 8, 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by ULRICH PERREY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, the drug maker said.

The drug, which is sold under the brand name Veklury, was granted an emergency use authorization by the FDA in May. It is given to patients through an IV, and in some cases, also a steroid.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilead has worked relentlessly to help find solutions to this global health crisis,” Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said in a statement. “It is incredible to be in the position today, less than one year since the earliest case reports of the disease now known as COVID-19, of having an FDA-approved treatment in the U.S. that is available for all appropriate patients in need.”

The drug is now the first fully approved treatment in the U.S. for the novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 1.1 million people around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.