FILE - In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, a vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. (Gilead Sciences via AP)

Health Canada approves remdesivir for treatment of severe COVID-19

First drug authorized by the agency to treat the virus

Health Canada has authorized the use of drug remdesivir to treat severe symptoms of COVID-19, the agency said Tuesday (July 28).

The antiviral drug, manufactured by Gilead Sciences Canada, Inc., is the first treatment authorized for patients with serious symptoms of the virus in Canada. The drug is currently only approved for use in adults and teens aged 12 and up with a weight of at least 40 kilograms. It is not authorized for use in children or pregnant women, and is administered intravenously to treat patients with pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen.

Canada is not the first to approve the use of remdesivir for COVID-19; the drug has been approved for use in U.S., Europe, Japan, Singapore and Australia. So far, the agency said a “small number” of patients are being treated with the drug under the Special Access Program, which will not be required for new patients going forward.

Health Canada said it completed an expedited six-week review to determine the drug’s benefits outweigh its risks when it comes to COVID-19. Two existing clinical trials are ongoing to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir. According to the European Medicines Agency, the most common side effect in healthy volunteers are increased blood levels of liver enzymes, and nausea in COVID-19 patients.

ALSO READ: B.C. sets limits on number of guests, visitors in vacation rentals, houseboats

ALSO READ: B.C. records 81 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. in three days


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Roots and Blues online festival live tonight on Black Press Media

Tune in to Black Press Media to watch the festival live Aug. 14, 15 and 16

Okanagan COVID-19 case count growth slows

BCCDC data shows a stark contrast between Okanagan-specific numbers released in July and August

Okanagan Correctional Centre outbreak due to training session: Interior Health

Interior Health said in a statement the staff members were at an off-site training session

Morning Start: A Texas law allows astronauts to vote from space

Your morning start for Friday, August 14, 2020

Piano set up in Penticton downtown

Initiative an effort to bring music and creativity to the streets

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Vernon pedestrian struck dies from injuries

Emergency responders are on scene on Main Street near the CIBC, traffic affected

UPDATE: Fire in Lake Country a “smoke chase”

A water bomber reportedly took off from Penticton and is on the way to Lake Country

Kelowna man convicted of not paying taxes after turbulent trial

Man claims he doesn’t meet the definition of a ‘person’ under the federal Income Tax Act

Accused in Kelowna’s 2018 Canada Day killing granted bail more than 1.5 years later

Esa Carriere was stabbed to death during the Canada Day fireworks in downtown Kelowna in 2018

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Most Read