US regulators on Friday allowed emergency use of an experimental drug that appears to help some coronavirus patients recover faster.
It is the first drug shown to help fight Covid-19, which has killed more than 237,000 people worldwide.
The FDA said in a statement that Gilead Science's intravenous drug would be specifically indicated for hospitalised patients with "severe disease," such as those experiencing breathing problems requiring supplemental oxygen or ventilators.
US President Donald Trump announced the news at the White House alongside Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn.
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"This was lightning speed in terms of getting something approved," said Hahn, calling the drug "an important clinical advance."
The FDA acted after preliminary results from a government-sponsored study showed that the drug, remdesivir, shortened the time to recovery by 31 per cent, or about four days on average, for hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
The study of 1,063 patients is the largest and most strict test of the drug and included a comparison group that received just usual care so remdesivir's effects could be rigorously evaluated.