The nation’s top infectious diseases expert says he expects the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to quickly approve a new experimental drug that showed promising signs in treating patients with COVID-19.
Anthony Fauci tells NBC’s “Today” show Thursday that he anticipates the go-ahead for the emergency use of Remdesivir to happen “really quickly.”
He says he spoke with FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn on Wednesday, and while Hahn had yet to make a final decision, “I would project that we’re going to be seeing that reasonably soon.” The drug was shown in a major study to shorten recovery time of hospitalized patients.
Fauci said the drug’s manufacturer has committed to scaling production of the drug as quickly as possible as the world hunts for an effective treatment and ultimately a vaccine.
The Emory University medical school doctor leading the Remdesivir drug trials says the drug provides a “glimmer of hope” for coronavirus treatment.
Aneesh Mehta said Thursday on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that “we are looking to find a medication that helps patients get better more rapidly, get them home to their families and make more room for other patients for us to take care of.”
He adds: “I think now we have the first glimmer of hope of something that can do that.”
Mehta cautions that the Remdesivir data is “very preliminary.” He says most antivirals tend to work better earlier in the course of the disease.
He adds that his team is working with the National Institutes of Health to adapt the clinical trial to look at other medications in combination with Remdesivir.
Fauci has been working on a project to fast track the development of a vaccine by mass-producing formulas that appear safe and effective before they’re fully vetted. The goal is to get hundreds of millions of doses to the public by January.