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October 23, 2020

Coronavirus company news summary – Gilead’s remdesivir is approved by the FDA – Roche and Atea team up on Covid-19 DAA

By Allie Nawrat

23 October 2020 

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients. Veklury stops the replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that caused Covid-19. It is the first and the only approved drug for Covid-19 in the US and is abundantly available due to early investment efforts by the country to maximise its supply.

Roche and Atea Pharmaceuticals have collaborated to develop the AT-527, an oral direct-acting antiviral (DAA) for Covid-19. AT-527 blocks the viral RNA polymerase enzyme and is currently in Phase II trials for hospitalised Covid-19 patients suffering with moderate symptoms. The antiviral drug will also undergo a phase 3 trial to understand its use in patients outside hospitals and in post-exposure preventive scenario.

The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative and the Serum Institute of India have entered into an agreement with Merck to develop SARS-CoV-2 neutralising monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to fight the Covid-19 disease. The mAbs have been co-invented by IAVI and Scripps Research; this partnership is unique because it ensures equitable global access to innovative therapies for Covid-19.

The San Antonio Medical Foundation has awarded a grant to Doug E. Frantz, a researcher from the University of Texas at San Antonio to support his work on a novel Covid-19 drug. Frantz will be assisted in his research by the UT Health San Antonio and Southwest Research Institute.

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