Remdesivir, a therapeutic to treat Covid-19, boosted third-quarter sales for pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences by nearly $900 million, according to results released Wednesday by the drugmaker.

The medication, sold under the brand name Veklury and originally developed to treat Ebola, has been shown to shorten the recovery time for patients hospitalised with the new coronavirus.

Gilead reported a 17 percent jump in third-quarter revenues to $6.6 billion.

The company reported a profit of $360 million, compared with a loss of $1.2 billion in the year-ago period.

Gilead reports almost $900mn in Remdesivir sales
Gilead reported a jump in third-quarter sales in part due to nearly $900 million in revenues from Remdesivir, a treatment for Covid-19. Photo: AFP / Olivier DOULIERY

The US Food and Drug Administration last Thursday granted full approval to the antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for patients hospitalised with Covid-19, after conditional authorization was given in May.

Remdesivir, which is administered by an injection, was one of the first drugs to show relative promise in treating the virus, although its efficacy in reducing its mortality rate is unproven.

President Donald Trump, who tested positive for the coronavirus early in October, was treated with remdesivir -- among other drugs -- at a military hospital outside Washington.

Shares of Gilead fell 1.4 percent to 57.90 in after-hours trading.

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