The European Union has approved the use of remdesivir to treat severe cases of coronavirus.
The announcement was made on Friday, days after the United States stockpiled the world’s entire supply of the antiviral medication.
The EU’s approval came after two major US studies show that remdesivir can reduce the number of days COVID-19 patients spend in hospital.
EU health commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, said in a statement:
“Today’s authorisation of a first medicine to treat COVID-19 is an important step forward in the fight against this virus.
“We are granting this authorisation less than a month after the application was submitted, showing clearly the EU’s determination to respond quickly whenever new treatments become available.”
Remdesivir, which is the only anti-coronavirus medication to be given the green light in the EU, was originally intended as a treatment for Ebola.
It was approved in the UK at the end of May, with health officials outlining that it will only be used to treat patients with severe conditions.
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It is one of the two drugs approved in the UK to treat COVID-19. The other one is a cheap steroid called dexamethasone.