Health Canada has conditionally approved remdesivir, marketed under the brand name Veklury, to treat patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19, including pneumonia and the need for supplemental oxygen to breathe.
“Remdesivir is the first drug authorized by Health Canada for the treatment of COVID-19,” Health Canada said in a press release on Tuesday.
This intravenous drug is manufactured by Gilead Sciences Canada.
The use of remdesivir has been approved for adults and young people 12 years of age or older who weigh 40 kg or more. It will only be provided in healthcare facilities where patients can be closely monitored.
Health Canada said its approval was based on “a six-week expedited review of known safety, efficacy and quality data to determine that the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks when is used for authorized indications ”.
As this is an expedited review, Health Canada will continue to analyze the data that will be provided by Gilead Sciences Canada regarding the impact of this drug on those who receive it, including pregnant women and patients with previous illnesses. liver or kidney problems.
The rapid approval of remdesivir has been achieved through cooperation with other countries.
This drug has also received emergency or conditional authorization in the United States, Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia.
“We thank Health Canada for conducting the expedited review of Veklury, given the urgent need to treat patients with COVID-19 in Canada,” said Melissa Koomey, CEO of Gilead Sciences Canada, in a press release. We are grateful for his collaboration and leadership as we combine our efforts to respond to this public health emergency. ”