In an open letter sent out Saturday, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said the company is carefully ramping up its efforts to make remdesivir available to coronavirus patients. The antiviral has previously been used to treat Ebola patients.
Remdesivir, which is awaiting regulatory approval as a coronavirus treatment, is being used in a number of clinical trials across the globe. In a project designed by regulators, it has also been made available, on an individual basis, to some severely ill patients who cannot participate in clinical trials.
“When the news of the coronavirus first emerged, Gilead immediately began to investigate the potential of remdesivir, a medicine we had been studying for many years as part of our extensive research in antivirals,” O’Day explained. “Remdesivir had never been approved for use but based on what we had learned to date, we knew it might have potential with the novel coronavirus. Since then, we have been working with the greatest sense of urgency and responsibility to determine whether Remdesivir does indeed work against COVID-19.”