Gilead halts emergency access to COVID-19 contender remdesivir amid ‘overwhelming demand’

Since the early days of the current coronavirus outbreak, Gilead Sciences’ experimental antiviral drug remdesivir has been hailed as a leading hope. That halo has apparently overwhelmed the Big Biotech.

Gilead has temporarily stopped granting patients emergency access to remdesivir under compassionate use due to an “exponential increase” in requests over the last few days, the company said Sunday. Exceptions will be made to pregnant women and children under 18 with severe COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The spike of COVID-19 cases in Europe and the U.S. “flooded an emergency treatment access system that was set up for very limited access to investigational medicines and never intended for use in response to a pandemic,” it said.

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