FDA approves first-ever COVID-19 treatment that was part of Emory clinical trial

FDA approves first-ever COVID-19 treatment that was part of Emory clinical trial

ATLANTA — The FDA on Thursday approved Remdesivir, the first-ever coronavirus treatment.

Many metro Atlanta hospitals started using the drug on coronavirus patients earlier this year after the FDA gave the drug emergency approval.

Forsyth County resident Andy Brizendine told Channel 2′s Carol Sbarge that he was so sick with coronavirus, he had to go into intensive care at Northside Hospital Forsyth.

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Among the problems he had were his lungs filling up with fluid. Andy says as part of his treatment doctors gave him Remdesivir. He believes it definitely helped him.

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The head of the National Institutes of Health’s Remdesivir trial at Emory University, Dr. Aneesh Mehta, says the drug is an antiviral medicine.

Mehta told Sbarge that these antiviral medicines work by preventing the virus from making more of itself. He says it happens in an interesting fashion by tricking the virus to use the drug instead of natural building blocks that the virus needs.

Mehta says Emory was able to do a trial earlier this year involving more than 100 patients infected with coronavirus.

He says Remdesivir was shown to reduce the recovery time to 10 days compared to 15 days in patients who didn’t receive Remdesivir.

Right now, it can only be given intravenously but Mehta says research is happening to eventually come up with a way to take it in a pill by mouth.