US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Gilead Sciences had obtained an emergency licence from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to produce Remdesivir antiviral drug to treat the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
US Vice President Mike Pence said the company will start distributing 1m doses of Remdesivir free of charge among US hospitals, starting Monday.
Trump said the Remdesivir drug is an important step towards finding a treatment for coronavirus.
The company seeks to produce 500,000 courses of treatment by October, 1m courses by December 2020, and millions more if necessary in 2021.
The White House spokesperson Kylie McNanney said the Trump administration has allocated $12bn in aid to health providers in 395 hospitals across the states that were severely affected by the pandemic.
Meanwhile, a United Arab Emirates research institute has developed another coronavirus treatment through extracting stem cells from the patient’s own blood and reintroducing them into the lungs of a patient via inhalation of a mist. The process, which proved successful in its clinical trials, “can be a game-changer in the global fight against the outbreak,” a government official announced on Friday.
The Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center has developed a treatment method that regenerates lung cells and prevents the immune system from overreacting, Hend Al-Otaiba, Director of Strategic Communications in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said on Twitter on Friday.
She added that the treatment “could have a significant impact on our ability to live with the virus until a vaccine is available.”
The treatment has successfully undergone an initial phase of clinical trials, with no harmful side effects, on 73 patients making full recoveries, according to Al-Otaiba. The Ministry of Economy granted a patent for the development of the treatment, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
Saudi researcher Faisal Al-Hariri expressed his gratitude that the UAE were granted a patent for using stem cell to treat Covid-19 cases.
The University of North Texas Health Science Center has revealed that seven critical Covid-19 patients were treated through stem cell transplantation and they recovered and were discharged from hospital within 14 days.
The Saudi researcher stated that the American university’s experiment called on the FDA to form an international team of scientists to test the safety and efficacy of the umbilical cord-derived stem cells (UC-MSC) to prevent life-threatening pneumonia.