Commercial Gilead Veklury receives WHO endorsement for treatment of Covid-19

Gilead Veklury receives WHO endorsement for treatment of Covid-19


Gilead Sciences is a biopharmaceutical company with operations across the U.S. and is primarily involved in the marketing, development, and discovery of medications for the treatment of several diseases such as liver illness, HIV infection, cancer treatment, etc. The company often partners with research centres, academic institutions, and pharmaceutical companies for the development and creation of new medications.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilead relied on its decades-long antiviral experience to develop Veklury, which is the company’s treatment for the (COVID-19) virus. Veklury is an antiviral drug that is administered intravenously. Nearly 1 million Americans have been given Veklury. 

Gilead has stated that its goal is to remain committed to the development of cutting-edge treatments for serious illnesses. The organisation further added that they aim to make beneficial social and environmental changes and the main focus of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program is to foster such business practices and help patients.

Gilead has a vast network of distributors spread across the Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa, and Europe with production facilities located in California, San Dimas, Ireland, Cork, Ocean Side, and Foster City. 

Veklury is an FDA-approved medication for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults older than 12 years. Gilead has been successful in obtaining enhanced endorsement from the World Health Organisation (WHO) under their guidelines and the endorsement was made based on the final data from the SOLIDARITY clinical trial. The amendment to the guidelines came after the health service recommended the medication for COVID-19 patients who may end up in the hospital in the future.

Merdad Parsey, Chief medical officer of Gilead Sciences released a statement stating “We are glad that this update in guidelines will highlight the integral role that Veklury will play in decreasing disease progression or death from Covid-19. More than 11 million patients have access to veklury worldwide, and it is the only antiviral medication advised by the WHO for consumption. The initiative to provide free medication was to assist Veklury in reaching patients as soon as possible given the pandemic’s threat to the safety of the public ”.

The main function of Veklury is that it interferes with SARS-CoV-2 virus RNA polymerase and prevents viral multiplication in the cell. Gilead provided Veklury to clinical trials as well as countries needing the medication, free of cost, as part of their corporate social responsibility initiative.

The results showed that consuming the Veklury antiviral drug led to a 17% lower risk of mortality and progression of the disease. Veklury treatment resulted in a 13% significant reduction in the death risk for patients brought to the hospital with supplemental oxygen but no mechanical ventilation. These findings were backed by the ACTT-1 experiment conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medication for consumption of Infant Covid 19 patients older than 28 days.

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