Business & Finance
US FDA Approves Veklury (Remdesivir) as Treatment for Pediatric Patients Under 12 Years of Age with COVID-19
25 April 2022 - - The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a supplemental new drug application for Veklury (remdesivir) for the treatment of pediatric patients who are older than 28 days, weighing at least 3 kg, and are either hospitalized with COVID-19 or have mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and are considered high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, US-based biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) said.

This approval follows the recent sNDA approval for Veklury for the treatment of non-hospitalized adult and adolescent patients who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19.

Under the expanded indication, a three-day Veklury treatment regimen is recommended to help prevent hospitalization in non-hospitalized COVID-19 pediatric patients who are at high risk for COVID-19 disease progression.

For hospitalized pediatric patients who do not require invasive mechanical ventilation and/or ECMO, a five-day treatment course is recommended.

Veklury is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to Veklury or any of its components; please see below for additional Important Safety Information for Veklury.

This approval was supported by results from the CARAVAN Phase 2/3 single arm, open-label study, which demonstrated that Veklury was generally well-tolerated among pediatric patients hospitalized with COVID-19 with a high proportion of participants showing clinical improvement and recovery, as well as data from trials in adults.

Of the 53 pediatric patients enrolled in the CARAVAN study, no new safety signals were apparent for patients treated with Veklury.

Overall, 75% and 85% showed clinical improvement (≥2 point increase on the ordinal scale) at Day 10 and last assessment, respectively, while 60% and 83% were discharged by Day 10 and Day 30, respectively.

In the study 38 patients experienced adverse events, with 11 patients experiencing serious adverse events that were determined not to be study-drug related, including three participant deaths, which were consistent with the patients' underlying medical conditions prior to study entry or with COVID-19 disease during hospitalization.

These data were presented at the 29th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (virtual CROI 2022).

In the United States, Veklury is indicated for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (28 days and older and weighing at least 3 kg) who are either hospitalized or not hospitalized and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.

Veklury is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to Veklury or any of its components; please see below for additional Important Safety Information for Veklury.

Veklury (remdesivir) is a nucleotide analog invented by Gilead, building on more than a decade of the company's antiviral research.

Veklury is a foundation for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and is a recommended treatment for reducing disease progression in non-hospitalized patients at high risk of disease progression.

Veklury has an established safety profile and minimal drug interactions in diverse populations. At this time, more than half of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States are treated with Veklury.

It can help reduce disease progression across a spectrum of disease severity and enable patients to recover faster, freeing up limited hospital resources and saving healthcare systems money.

Veklury was approved by the FDA in October 2020, for adults and pediatric patients 12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kg for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.

In January 2022, the FDA approved a sNDA to expand the indication to non-hospitalized adult and adolescent patients who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.

This allows for Veklury to be administered in qualified outpatient settings that can administer daily intravenous infusions over three consecutive days.

In April 2022, Veklury was approved by the FDA for the treatment of pediatric patients over 28 days old and weighing at least 3 kg who are hospitalized or not hospitalized and at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.

Veklury is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to Veklury or any of its components; please see below for additional Important Safety Information for Veklury.

Veklury continues to demonstrate durable activity against SARS-CoV-2 as it evolves. Veklury is a nucleotide analog that directly inhibits viral replication inside of the cell by targeting the SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA polymerase. 

In vitro laboratory testing in multiple independent studies show that Veklury continues to demonstrate durable activity against SARS-CoV-2 as it evolves, including the Omicron variant and its subvariants BA.1 and BA.2.

As new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern emerge around the world, Gilead continuously evaluates the effectiveness of Veklury against viral variants.

Veklury is approved or authorized for temporary use in approximately 50 countries worldwide.

To date, Veklury and generic remdesivir have been made available to more than 11m patients around the world, including more than 7m people in 127 middle- and low-income countries through Gilead's voluntary licensing program.

These licenses currently remain royalty-free, reflecting Gilead's existing commitment to enabling broad patient access to remdesivir, the company said.
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