December 21, 2021
European Commission Expands Indication for Veklury (Remdesivir) for the Treatment of Adults Not on Supplemental Oxygen and Considered High Risk for COVID-19 Disease Progression
-- Approval Based on Phase 3 Data Showing Veklury Significantly Reduced Risk of Hospitalization Compared with Placebo --
-- Expanded Indication Will Enable Use at Earlier Stages of the Disease to Help Prevent Disease Progression of COVID-19 in High-Risk Patients --
FOSTER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced that the European Commission (EC) has approved a variation to the Conditional Marketing Authorization for Veklury® (remdesivir) to include adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and are at an increased risk of progressing to severe COVID-19. This decision follows the positive recommendation of the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP), the scientific committee of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), to expand the indication for Veklury on December 16.
“As the rates of COVID-19 climb again and new variants like Omicron emerge, we need effective tools like Veklury to treat various stages of the disease,” said Roger Paredes, MD, PhD, Chief Infectious Diseases Department, and IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute Hospital Universitari Germans Trias I Pujol Badalona, Spain. “We can now use Veklury to help prevent high-risk patients from progressing to more severe disease, even when they do not require oxygen, as well as continue to utilize Veklury as a key tool in the treatment of severe disease. This latest approval will also help to relieve some of the pressure on healthcare systems that are already under significant strain from the burden of COVID-19.”
The EC’s decision is supported by results from a Phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a three-day course of Veklury for intravenous (IV) use for the treatment of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients at high risk for disease progression. In an analysis of 562 participants randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive Veklury or placebo, Veklury demonstrated a statistically significant 87% reduction in risk for the composite primary endpoint of COVID-19 related hospitalization or all-cause death by Day 28 (0.7% [2/279]) compared with placebo (5.3% [15/283]) p=0.008. In the study, no deaths were observed in either arm by Day 28. The safety profile was similar between Veklury and placebo across the variety of outpatient settings in this trial, with the most common treatment emergent adverse events (≥5%) in patients taking Veklury being nausea and headache. These data have also been shared with other regulatory agencies around the world and submitted for scientific peer-reviewed publication.
This expanded indication in the EU adds to the previous Conditional Marketing Authorization of Veklury enabling the treatment of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents (aged 12 to less than 18 years and weighing at least 40 kg) with pneumonia requiring supplemental oxygen (low- or high-flow oxygen or other non-invasive ventilation at start of treatment).
“The swift action of the European Commission is a testament to the need for effective treatments that can be used earlier in the course of disease to help people with COVID-19 across Europe,” said Merdad Parsey, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences. “As we learn more about how COVID-19 disease progresses, it is clear that an antiviral like Veklury can have a significant impact if used early in the course of disease. As the antiviral standard of care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, we are proud of the role Veklury continues to play on the front lines of the pandemic, and we believe Veklury will now be able to help more patients decrease their time to recovery from COVID-19 in Europe.”
In the United States, Veklury is indicated 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. The use of Veklury for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with three days of dosing in the U.S. is investigational, and the safety and efficacy for this use and dosing duration have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 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.
As new SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern emerge around the world, Gilead continuously evaluates the effectiveness of Veklury against viral variants. An initial analysis of genetic information from the Omicron variant suggests that Veklury will continue to be active against this variant. Gilead will conduct laboratory testing to confirm this analysis. To date, no major genetic changes have been identified in any of the known variants of concern that would significantly alter the viral RNA polymerase targeted by Veklury. Veklury’s antiviral activity has been tested in vitro against isolates of variants of SARS-CoV-2, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. These laboratory findings suggest that Veklury will continue to be active against the currently identified variations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the Omicron variant.
Veklury (remdesivir) is a nucleotide analog invented by Gilead, building on more than a decade of the company’s antiviral research. Veklury is the antiviral standard of care for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19. 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 the spectrum of disease severity and enable hospitalized patients to recover faster, freeing up limited hospital resources and saving healthcare systems money.
Veklury is approved or authorized for temporary use in approximately 50 countries worldwide. To date, Veklury and generic remdesivir have been made available to nine million patients around the world, including 6.5 million 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.
U.S. Indication for Veklury
Veklury® (remdesivir 100 mg for injection) is indicated 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. Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care. Veklury is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to Veklury or any of its components. For more information, please see the U.S. full Prescribing Information available at www.gilead.com.
U.S. Important Safety Information for Veklury
Veklury is contraindicated in patients with a history of clinically significant hypersensitivity reactions to Veklury or any of its components.
Warnings and precautions
- Hypersensitivity, including infusion-related and anaphylactic reactions: Hypersensitivity, including infusion-related and anaphylactic reactions, has been observed during and following administration of Veklury. Monitor patients under close medical supervision for hypersensitivity reactions during and following administration of Veklury. Symptoms may include hypotension, hypertension, tachycardia, bradycardia, hypoxia, fever, dyspnea, wheezing, angioedema, rash, nausea, diaphoresis, and shivering. Slower infusion rates (maximum infusion time ≤120 minutes) can potentially prevent these reactions. If a severe infusion-related hypersensitivity reaction occurs, immediately discontinue Veklury and initiate appropriate treatment (see Contraindications).
- Increased risk of transaminase elevations: Transaminase elevations have been observed in healthy volunteers and in patients with COVID-19 who received Veklury; these elevations have also been reported as a clinical feature of COVID-19. Perform hepatic laboratory testing in all patients (see Dosage and administration). Consider discontinuing Veklury if ALT levels increase to >10x ULN. Discontinue Veklury if ALT elevation is accompanied by signs or symptoms of liver inflammation.
- Risk of reduced antiviral activity when coadministered with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine: Coadministration of Veklury with chloroquine phosphate or hydroxychloroquine sulfate is not recommended based on data from cell culture experiments, demonstrating potential antagonism, which may lead to a decrease in antiviral activity of Veklury.
- The most common adverse reaction (≥5% all grades) was nausea.
- The most common lab abnormalities (≥5% all grades) were increases in ALT and AST.
- Drug interaction trials of Veklury and other concomitant medications have not been conducted in humans.
Dosage and administration
- Dosage: For adults and pediatric patients ≥12 years old and weighing ≥40 kg: 200 mg on Day 1, followed by once-daily maintenance doses of 100 mg from Day 2 administered only via intravenous infusion over 30 to 120 minutes.
- Treatment duration: For patients not requiring invasive mechanical ventilation and/or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): 5 days; may be extended up to 5 additional days (10 days total) if clinical improvement is not observed. For patients requiring invasive mechanical ventilation and/or ECMO: 10 days.
- Testing prior to and during treatment: Perform eGFR, hepatic laboratory, and prothrombin time testing prior to initiating Veklury and during use as clinically appropriate.
- Renal impairment: Veklury is not recommended in individuals with eGFR <30 mL/min.
- Dose preparation and administration: See full Prescribing Information.
Pregnancy and lactation
- Pregnancy: There are insufficient human data on the use of Veklury during pregnancy. Pregnant women hospitalized with COVID-19 are at risk for serious morbidity and mortality. Veklury should be used during pregnancy only if the potential benefit justifies the potential risk for the mother and the fetus.
- Lactation: It is not known whether Veklury can pass into breast milk. Breastfeeding individuals with COVID-19 should follow practices according to clinical guidelines to avoid exposing the infant to COVID-19.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that has pursued and achieved breakthroughs in medicine for more than three decades, with the goal of creating a healthier world for all people. The company is committed to advancing innovative medicines to prevent and treat life-threatening diseases, including HIV, viral hepatitis and cancer. Gilead operates in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, including the possibility of unfavorable results from ongoing or additional clinical trials or studies, including those involving Veklury; Gilead’s ability to initiate, progress or complete clinical trials or studies within currently anticipated timelines or at all, including those involving Veklury; Gilead’s ability to receive regulatory approvals in a timely manner or at all, including additional regulatory approvals of Veklury, and the risk that any such approvals may be subject to significant limitations on use; the risk that physicians may not see the benefits of prescribing Veklury; and any assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. These and other risks, uncertainties and factors are described in detail in Gilead’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, as filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those referred to in the forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance involves risks and uncertainties and is cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to Gilead, and Gilead assumes no obligation and disclaims any intent to update any such forward-looking statements.
U.S. full Prescribing Information for Veklury is available at www.gilead.com.
Veklury, Gilead and the Gilead logo are registered trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies.
For more information about Gilead, please visit the company’s website at www.gilead.com , follow Gilead on Twitter (@Gilead Sciences) or call Gilead Public Affairs at 1-800-GILEAD-5 or 1-650-574-3000.
Jacquie Ross, Investors
Nicole Rodriguez, Media
Source: Gilead Sciences, Inc.