Share article:
Share article:

EU approves antiviral as first Covid-19 treatment

Credit: Belga

An anti-Ebola drug has become the first treatment to receive approval for treating Covid-19 patients in the European Union.

The European Commission on Friday gave market approval to remdesivir, an experimental antiviral manufactured by US firm Gilead and first developed to fight Ebola.

The European Union on Friday gave conditional market authorisation to the drug, a procedure used to speed up the approval of a drug which can address “unmet medical needs.”

Earlier, the EU’s drugs agency backed the use of remdesivir to treat Covid-19 patients over the age of 12 who with a serious case of Covid-19, namely those who had pneumonia and required oxygen therapy.

Related News:


While the agency said that clinical research had shown that the drug sped up recover of serious Covid-19 patients, it said that there was no evidence that remdesivir was effective for milder Covid-19 cases.

News of the drug’s approval in the EU come as the United States moved to hog nearly all stocks of the drug, announcing the purchase of virtually all of Gilead’s projected stocks for July, August and September.

The EU on Thursday said it was in talks with the US firm in efforts to secure remdesivir doses for EU member states.

Since the start of the pandemic, remdesivir is so far the second drug approved worldwide to treat Covid-19 patient at a cost of around $3,200 (around €2,850) per six-dose treatment, the Independent reports.

UK researchers in June announced that a much cheaper drug, dexamethasone, was the first drug capable of saving the lives of patients seriously ill with Covid-19 at a cost of “less than £50 (€55).

While both drugs have been given market approval in the UK, Belgium in June said that it would review the results of the dexamethasone study before adjusting its recommendations to hospitals treating Covid-19 patients.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...