Gilead Sciences signed a new deal with the European Commission. According to RTTNews, the agreement will make the coronavirus drug Veklury (remdesivir) more accessible. Drug purchases will be covered for the next six months and the timeline could be extended.
The deal will start fulfilling orders on Oct. 12. The new agreement replaces the previous deal with the ESI (Emergency Support Instrument). According to the European Commission, the new deal will help member states address the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the previous deal, the ESI would produce remdesivir for member states from August to October 2020. RTTNews also said that Gilead Sciences plans to produce over 2 million treatment courses of the drug before the end of 2020. The company expects to have enough of the drug to meet global demand before the end of October.
Coronavirus cases spike in Germany
The new remdesivir deal may have arrived just in time for Germany. Recently, the coronavirus cases have jumped in the country. According to Reuters, it's the biggest spike in daily cases in Germany since April. Data from the Robert Koch Institute states that the number of daily cases increased by half.
"We are at an autumn milestone," said Health Minister Jens Spahn. "We must not lose control ... this is a test of character for our society." Spahn said that most of the new cases are younger people. He said that younger people don't think that they will catch the virus.
Also, most of the new cases weren't due to public environments. Places like schools, nurseries, and public transportation "were coping relatively well." According to Reuters, most of the new cases are due to large social gatherings like weddings and religious events.
To help deal with this rise in coronavirus cases, there are restrictions on domestic tourism. Berlin and Frankfurt have placed curfews on what's being called "evening entertainment." Although the restrictions may hurt the local economies, Berlin is known for its nightlife and Frankfurt is called a financial hub.
What is remdesivir?
Remdesivir, also known by the brand name Veklury, is an antiviral medicine used to treat coronavirus or COVID-19. A fact sheet on the drug states that it's still being tested. In a clinical trial, the drug shortened the recovery time for some coronavirus patients.
Administered in a hospital setting, remdesivir is given intravenously or through an IV. Patients receive the drug every day for up to 10 days. The longevity of the treatment is determined by what the medical team or healthcare provider thinks is best for the patient.
However, remdesivir hasn't been approved by the FDA. The FDA website has a disclaimer stating that remdesivir is an investigational drug. The FDA hasn't determined if the drug is "safe and effective for the treatment of COVID-19."
The FDA allows remdesivir to be used as an emergency treatment for coronavirus. The secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services has declared a public health emergency amid the COVID-19 pandemic.