The FDA Loosens The Reins For Coronavirus


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The anti-anti-vaxxers at the FDA loosened the reins this week, giving both Gilead’s remdesivir and Roche’s COVID antibody test the greenlight for “emergency use.” Is a global pandemic not an emergency? That feels a lot like an emergency…


Gilead’s remdesivir got the go-ahead as the first medicinal treatment to handle COVID symptoms, after early clinical data showed signs of recovery in those treated with the drug. According to the study, the drug reduced the time taken to recover, those given the drug recovered in 11 days, compared to the 15 day standard.

Despite the positive results, Gilead can’t go making it rain remdesivir all willy-nilly. Use of the “miracle drug” is limited to those hospitalized with low blood-oxygen levels, and those who need breathing support. Oh, so people who meet the Ivan Drago standard?

There was word that this might happen earlier last week, as the FDA teased Gilead, but now that they’ve signed off, it’s clear the FDA means business.

Gilead closed down 4.8% on Friday, despite the news. Gilead share prices are up 23% on the year. I wonder why.

Roche-ing ahead

Roche Holding got its antibody test greenlit by the FDA as well. Roche’s test helps identify the antibodies created by humans after they’ve been infected with coronavirus. The key here is that those with minimal symptoms, or those who are asymptomatic, may be identified.

These tests are seen as the gateway to understanding the spread of the virus, tracking it, and allowing civilization to open back up. After all, there are only so many frozen pizzas a man can eat…

Roche says its test has been 100% accurate in detecting COVID antibodies, and 99.8% accurate in ruling those antibodies out of those who haven’t gotten the virus. Of course, it did.

Cooler Commentary

Between a potential treatment and antibody tests, could the “new normal” be on the horizon?

Many governments are hoping that antibody testing can be used to identify those whose bodies have already developed a way to fight the virus, and therefore could safely return to the workforce, helping buoy sputtering economies.

To do that, some countries are suggesting the use of “immunity passports” for those who have a natural defense against the virus. Nope, no potential human rights violations to see here.

Water Cooler Talking Point(s)

💧 “Do people really want to be back at the office that quickly? I’m rather enjoying the ‘working’ from home set up.” (AJ, The Water Coolest HQ)

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