The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the use of the antiviral therapy, remdesivir, to treat COVID-19 in infants 4 weeks and older, despite having no evidence the treatment is effective or even safe for young children.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday approved the use of the antiviral therapy, remdesivir, to treat COVID-19 in infants four weeks and older.
Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a press release:
“As COVID-19 can cause severe illness in children, some of whom do not currently have a vaccination option, there continues to be a need for safe and effective COVID-19 treatment options for this population.
“Today’s approval of the first COVID-19 therapeutic for this population demonstrates the agency’s commitment to that need.”
According to the press release, the FDA’s decision to approve the therapy, marketed under the name Veklury, is supported by a clinical study conducted on infants 4 weeks and older weighing a minimum of 6.6 pounds.
The study is underway and will not be completed until February 2023. There are no published results.
However, Gilead Sciences, maker of remdesivir and sponsor of the study, provided the following details in a company press release:
A total of 53 hospitalized pediatric patients were enrolled in the clinical study.
72% suffered adverse events.
21% suffered serious adverse events determined to be unrelated to the drug.
Three children died from either underlying conditions or COVID-19.