Tag Archives: Didier Raoult

COVID19: Commission opts for U.S.Remdesivir

The Commission has signed a joint procurement framework contract with the pharmaceutical company Gilead for the supply of up to 500,000 treatment courses of Veklury, the brand name for Remdesivir, and the opportunity to increase supply beyond the 500,000 treatment courses. There are 36 signatories of the Joint Procurement Agreement participating in this joint procurement, including all EU countries, the EEA countries of Norway and Iceland, the UK, as well as six candidate countries and potential candidates.

All participating countries can now place their orders to procure Veklury directly. Veklury is at this stage the only medicine with a conditional marketing authorisation in the EU for the treatment of COVID-19 patients needing oxygen supply. Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Today we secure access to Remdesivir for the treatment of up to 500,000 patients in need. We are leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to ensure that safe and efficient therapeutics are available against COVID-19. Through our EU Joint Procurements, we are empowering countries across Europe to join forces and get access to vital equipment and medicines. We are always stronger together, and this is European solidarity in action against COVID-19.”
The decision of the Commission was takes in spite of absence of any evidence that Remdesivir has desired effect in curing COVID-19.

“During outbreak of emerging disease, the most important aim is to discover an effective drug to save life. Consequently, a lot of effort are generally made by the industry to promote clinical trials with new drugs. Here we review evidence of the 8 most recent reports including 3 randomized controlled trials on the clinical efficacy of remdesivir in treating COVID-19 patient. We conclude that it is far too premature to identify remdesivir as a curative or life-saving intervention” reads article, signed by three scientists, including the Prof.Didier Raoult, Director of the Institute of infectious deceases IHU MĂ©diterranĂ©e in Marseille, France.

In some of the EU countries, like France, Remdesivir (Veklury ®, Gilead) has since July 15, 2020 a temporary authorization for cohort use (ATUc). This is not an easy prescription molecule and any initiation must first be the subject of a collegial opinion. Its use is restricted to healthcare facilities for oxygen-seeking patients under monitoring of renal and hepatic functions. The evolution of the condition of the first five patients hospitalized in intensive care at Bichat hospital (Paris) and treated with this broad-spectrum antiviral, in particular the toxicity observed, underlines the complexity of use of this antiviral in fragile individuals, reads an artile in the Journal Of Infectious Diseases.

Remdesivir is a drug invented by the American laboratory Gilead for the treatment of several infectious diseases. It is active against Ebola virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), Junin virus (responsible for Argentinian hemorrhagic fever), Middle East respiratory syndrome virus (MERS-CoV, which belongs to the family of coronavirus) or the Marburg virus. It was in 2009 that Gilead began the research that led to remdesivir, with programs on hepatitis C and respiratory syncytial virus. It is an antiviral drug analogous to adenosine. It is available as a lyophilisate intended for intravenous administration.

EU €63M Remdesivir contract with U.S.Gilead

#COVID19 European Commission has signed a contract with the pharmaceutical company Gilead on July 28 to secure treatment doses of Veklury, the brand name for Remdesivir. The medicine Remdesivir, sold under the brand name Veklury, is a broad-spectrum antiviral medication developed by the California biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. It is administered via injection into a vein.

As from early August onwards, and in order to meet immediate needs, batches of Veklury will be made available to Member States and the UK, with the coordination and support of the Commission. The Commission’s Emergency Support Instrument will finance the contract, worth a total of €63 million, the European Commission announced the day after.

«This will ensure the treatment of approximately 30,000 patients presenting severe COVID-19 symptoms. This will help to cover the current needs over the next few months, while ensuring a fair distribution at EU level, based on an allocation key, taking into account the advice from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The Commission is now also preparing a joint procurement for further supplies of the medicine, expected to cover additional needs and supplies as from October onwards» the Commission spokesperson announced.

A contract has been signed yesterday, less than a month after the authorisation of Remdesivir, which will allow the delivery of treatments from early August for thousands of patients” Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said. “The Commission is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to secure access to safe and efficient treatments, and is supporting the development of vaccines against coronavirus. Yesterday’s agreement is another important step forward in our fight to overcome this disease” she added.

«Remdesivir is not a cure. Worse, it causes kidney failure: out of the first 5 patients treated with this drug at Bichat @APHSP hospital [39 hospials + 6 univeristy groups in France], 2 were put on dialysis. When will we have the results of Discovery? What is the WHO waiting for to react? Â» wrote on his Twitter micro blog Professor Didier Raoult, the Director of IHU Mediterranean Infection, Marseille, France, – the unique Institute based on University hosptial, devoted to infectious and tropical deseases, and also the microbiological research in the field.