July 28, 2020 / 3:00 PM / 15 days ago

Canada gives conditional approval to Gilead's remdesivir for COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: Gilead Sciences Inc pharmaceutical company is seen after they announced a Phase 3 Trial of the investigational antiviral drug Remdesivir in patients with severe coronavirus disease (COVID-19), during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Canada on Tuesday granted conditional approval to Gilead Sciences Inc’s antiviral treatment remdesivir to treat patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19, making it the first approved treatment for the fast-spreading illness in the country.

Remdesivir has become the treatment of choice for many countries against severely ill COVID-19 patients after the intravenously-administered medicine helped shorten hospital recovery times in a clinical trial.

The drug, remdesivir, has been granted emergency or conditional authorization in several countries including the United States, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

Under a program, a small number of patients have been or are being treated with remdesivir in Canada until now. With the authorization of remdesivir, the program will no longer be required to access the drug.

Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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