Gilead Sciences has launched two phase III clinical trials of its experimental antiviral drug remdesivir in the UK to treat Covid-19 patients.
The two studies will be carried out at 15 sites across the country, mainly in England and Scotland.
One of the trials will involve patients with moderate symptoms and the other will recruit patients with severe conditions.
Hilary Hutton-Squire, Vice-President and General Manager of Gilead Sciences UK & Ireland, said: “Gilead started researching remdesivir over ten years ago. We are now able to consider its potential to treat Covid-19 and advance its development rapidly, and these clinical trials will generate important data on the safety and efficacy of the drug in the coming weeks. “
The trials are supported by the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
MHRA Director of Licensing, Dr Siu Ping Lam, said: “We have procedures for rapid scientific advice, review and approval and are ready to support manufacturers, researchers and other authorities regulatory.
“We have dedicated resources to ensure that this happens, as we did during the Ebola crisis when we authorized clinical trial requests during the week.”
Covid-19 trials of remdesivir are already underway in the United States and China.