The US Food and Drug Administration gives emergency approval for the experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir.

Remdesivir had “a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery”, says Dr Anthony FauciImage caption: Remdesivir had “a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery”, says Dr Anthony Fauci
The latest clinical trials of remdesivir, an anti-viral drug originally developed to treat Ebola, have been encouraging.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) found that remdesivir cut the duration of symptoms from 15 days down to 11. The trials involved 1,063 people at hospitals around the world. Some were given the drug and others were given a placebo (dummy) treatment.
Dr Anthony Fauci who runs NIAID, said that remdesivir had “a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery”.
However, although remdesivir may aid recovery – and possibly stop people having to be treated in intensive care – the trials did not give any clear indication whether it can prevent deaths from coronavirus.
It is one of the four drugs in the WHO Solidarity trial and its manufacturer, Gilead, is also organising trials.
The US data on remdesivir was published at the same time as a trial of the same drug in China, reported in the Lancet medical journal
, showed it was ineffective.
However, that trial was incomplete because the success of lockdown in Wuhan meant doctors ran out of patients.