Remdesivir - the biggest step forward in the COVID-19 treatment
The drug treatment remdesivir that appears to shorten recovery time for people with coronavirus was authorised in the UK and is being made available on the NHS, BBC reports.
Probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus since the crisis began.
Remdesivir is an anti-viral medicine that has been used against Ebola.
UK regulators say there is enough evidence to approve its use in selected Covid-19 hospital patients.
The US and Japan have already made similar urgent arrangements to provide early access to the medicine before they have a marketing agreement.
It can cut recovery time by about four days
The drug is currently undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK.
Early data suggests it can cut recovery time by about four days, but there is no evidence yet that it will save more lives.
Allocation of the intravenous drug will be based on the advice of doctors.
Dr Stephen Griffin from the University of Leeds Medical School, said it was perhaps the most promising anti-viral for coronavirus so far.
Other drugs being investigated for coronavirus include those for malaria and HIV.
Testing of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine has been halted in some trials because of safety fears. The World Health Organization says the temporary suspension is a precaution, after a recent medical study found the drug might increase the risk of death and heart rhythm complications.