The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an investigational new drug application for anti-viral EIDD-2801 against Covid-19, which means it can be advanced into human clinical trials in the US.

The investigational drug was developed by Drug Innovations at Emory (Drive), a non-profit biotech company owned by Emory University in the US. In March this year, it was exclusively licensed to Ridgeback Biotherapeutics . DRIVE and Ridgeback will be jointly advancing EIDD-2801 into clinical development and eventually into the market.

EIDD-2801 prevents the replication of the virus causing Covid-19, and has shown to be efficacious against other coronaviruses.

Ridgeback CEO Wendy Holman said: “We look forward to our continued work with the highly experienced drug development team at DRIVE and the dedicated medical, public health and governmental personnel who are on the frontlines of this pandemic – in the United States and abroad.

“The ability to deliver promising treatments to patients in need is what makes us excited to come to work every day.

“Ridgeback brings its unique perspective, honed by our success developing an Ebola therapeutic during the 2018-2020 outbreak in the DR Congo, to help advance EIDD-2801 for the treatment of diseases that are critical to pandemics and global health.”