SAN ANTONIO – A local doctor involved in a study for the first drug approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19 says he is encouraged by the development.
The anti-viral drug has been fast-tracked by U.S. regulators for emergency use. Studies suggest that remdesivir appears to help some severe COVID-19 patients recover faster, a milestone in the global search for effective therapies against the coronavirus.
Dr. Thomas Patterson, professor in the Long School of Medicine and chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at UT Health San Antonio, is leading a study site on the drug in San Antonio that also includes more than 75 other sites in the U.S.
“It’s very exciting to be involved in a clinical trial that is moving forward so quickly toward helping patients,” Dr. Patterson said. “This is the first anti-viral drug that has been shown to benefit patients with COVID-19 in a randomized clinical trial.”
In a statement, the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio said the authorization means that “hospitalized COVID-19 patients meeting criteria for use can receive remdesivir, which is now the standard of care.”
With the approval, the use of the drug will be expanded to hospitals that were not initially part of the trial, said Dr. Jason Bowling, an infectious disease physician at UT Health System.
It can be given to adults and children who have a severe case of COVID-19, he said.