US President Donald Trump has approved an experimental drug for emergency use authorisation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat Coronavirus patients in the country.
Trump made the announcement on Friday during a televised address that was covered by CNBC.
The drug, Remdesivir, was initially manufactured by American pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences to treat Ebola virus.
Recent data from the Coronavirus trial testing of the drug showed that patients who took it recovered within eleven days.
This indicates a shortened recovery period, compared to other drugs that have been used to treat the virus.
Gilead Sciences’ Chief Executive Officer, Daniel O’Day, who was present during Trump’s live announcement, used the occasion “to thank the collaborators that brought remdesivir to this point and many of our people that have been part of this, in fact, the caregivers”.
He also stated that the company will be donating 1.5 million vials of the intravenous drug.
However, the emergency use authorisation for remdesivir does not mean the drug has been given express approval by America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Reports say the drug has not undergone any thorough review to receive appropriate approval to treat patients.
However, doctors can use it to treat patients for now due to the emergency nature of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Researchers have, however, pointed out that Remdesivir’s side effects could be as mild as nausea and vomiting, or as severe as liver damage.
It would recalled that this is not the first time President Trump has been too eager to present a drug as a cure for the deadly virus.
In March, Trump announced that the FDA approved the malaria drug – Chloroquine – as a treatment for COVID-19. The FDA later faulted this claim.
The approval is the latest step in a global push to find viable vaccine for the coronavirus, which infected more than 3.3 million people, and as the US struggles with growing pressure from citizens weary of the stay-at-home orders.
As at press time, 1.1 million coronavirus cases has been confirmed in the US with nearly 65,000 fatal.
This approval comes few days a Nigerian Doctor based in the US, Babafemi Taiwo, who is leading the major study on Remdesivir, discussed the result of study in an interview with CNN.
According to him, preliminary results of Remdesivir has shown it can help hospitalised COVID-19 patients recover faster.
In the interview, Dr. Babafemi Taiwo revealed that Remdesivir has made significant strides in helping patients with Coronavirus recover well.
Dr. Babafemi Taiwo said;
Everything that we’ve seen so far gives a lot of optimism and hope.
Dr. Babafemi Taiwo who did his MBBS from at the University of Ibadan College of Medicine is now a Professor of Medicine and the Chief of Infectious Diseases Medicine at Northwestern University, Chicago.
Below is a video of Dr Babafemi Taiwo speaking to CNN;
New data from a preliminary trial suggests that the drug remdesivir has a positive effect on coronavirus recovery.
— CNN (@CNN) April 29, 2020