EU close to fast-tracking COVID-19 treatment drug
The head of the European Union's medicines agency, Guido Rasi, has said an initial authorization for U.S. pharmaceutical company Gilead's remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment could be granted in coming days.
Joe Davies reports.
The European Union may give an initial green light in the coming days for the sale of the drug remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment -- fast-tracking the drug to market -- and the latest in a tight global competition for resources to fight the pandemic.
It also comes after the United States angered the EU with its aggressive tactics in obtaining such resources.
The U.S. has yet to issue a similar approval for the drug.
Guido Rasi is head of the EU Medicines Agency: "Now, there is an ongoing rolling review in the EMA to support the CHMP's (human medicines committee) decision, and it might be that a conditional market authorization can be issued in the coming days, subject to the data that we've submitted and how the experts will deem those data robust enough to issue what I expect could be the conditional approval.
I don't see another kind of approval at this stage." The European Medicines Agency - or EMA - has already recommended the compassionate use of remdesivir, which allows a drug to be administered to patients even before its sale has been authorised.
Demand for remdesivir has been growing as there are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for COVID-19.
It's made by U.S. pharmaceutical company Gilead.
They're now negotiating long-term licenses with drugmakers in India and Pakistan to produce remdesivir for developing countries.
But it's unclear how soon sufficient amounts of the drug could be available to meet the world's need for a treatment.