Remdesivir wins a vote of COVID-19 confidence

An antiviral drug called remdesivir got a strong vote of confidence today from one of the most prominent figures in the battle against the coronavirus outbreak.

“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told reporters during a White House photo op.

Also today, The New York Times quoted an unnamed administration official as saying that the Food and Drug Administration is likely to clear remdesivir to be employed more widely as a treatment for COVID-19 under the terms of an Emergency Use Authorization.

The FDA acknowledged that it’s “engaged in sustained and ongoing discussions” with remdesivir’s manufacturer, California-based Gilead Sciences, to make the drug available to patients as quickly as possible where appropriate.

Fauci said his optimism is based on a randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients at medical clinics around the world, including four clinics in Washington state.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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