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VEKLURY has retained antiviral activity against Omicron and all other variants tested in vitro1-5

The antiviral activity of VEKLURY has been tested in vitro against clinical isolates of SARS-CoV-2 variants. These laboratory findings demonstrated that the antiviral activity of VEKLURY is not reduced against these variants.

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Viruses like SARS-CoV-2 continuously evolve as changes in the genetic code occur during replication.6

To date, known novel virus variants show mutations at different locations in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which is on the outer surface of the virus and can cause decreased affinity of the anti–SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.6-8

No known SARS-CoV-2 variants have significantly altered the viral RNA polymerase.2,4

VEKLURY is an antiviral medication that directly inhibits viral replication of SARS-CoV-21,9,10

VEKLURY acts to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), which is essential for viral replication, and thus creation of virions that circulate in the body.1,9

Remdesivir triphosphate (RDV-TP)
Delayed chain termination
RDV-TP in the template viral RNA
COVID-19 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp)

Important Safety Information

Contraindication

  • 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; most reactions occurred within 1 hour. Monitor patients during infusion and observe for at least 1 hour after infusion is complete for signs and symptoms of hypersensitivity as clinically appropriate. Symptoms may include hypotension, hypertension, tachycardia, bradycardia, hypoxia, fever, dyspnea, wheezing, angioedema, rash, nausea, diaphoresis, and shivering. Slower infusion rates (maximum infusion time of up to 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 the antiviral activity of VEKLURY.

Adverse reactions

  • The most common adverse reaction (≥5% all grades) was nausea.
  • The most common lab abnormalities (≥5% all grades) were increases in ALT and AST.

Dosage and administration

  • Administration should take place under conditions where management of severe hypersensitivity reactions, such as anaphylaxis, is possible.
  • Treatment duration:
    • For patients who are hospitalized, VEKLURY should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of symptomatic COVID-19.
    • For patients who are hospitalized and do not require invasive mechanical ventilation and/or ECMO, the recommended treatment duration is 5 days. If a patient does not demonstrate clinical improvement, treatment may be extended up to 5 additional days, for a total treatment duration of up to 10 days.
    • For patients who are hospitalized and require invasive mechanical ventilation and/or ECMO, the recommended total treatment duration is 10 days.
    • For patients who are not hospitalized, diagnosed with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death, the recommended total treatment duration is 3 days. VEKLURY should be initiated as soon as possible after diagnosis of symptomatic COVID-19 and within 7 days of symptom onset for outpatient use.
  • Testing prior to and during treatment: Perform hepatic laboratory and prothrombin time testing prior to initiating VEKLURY and during use as clinically appropriate.
  • Renal impairment: No dosage adjustment of VEKLURY is recommended in patients with any degree of renal impairment, including patients on dialysis. VEKLURY may be administered without regard to the timing of dialysis.

Pregnancy and lactation

  • Pregnancy: A pregnancy registry has been established for VEKLURY. Available clinical trial data for VEKLURY in pregnant women have not identified a drug-associated risk of major birth defects, miscarriage, or adverse maternal or fetal outcomes following second- and third-trimester exposure. There are insufficient data to evaluate the risk of VEKLURY exposure during the first trimester. Maternal and fetal risks are associated with untreated COVID-19 in pregnancy.
  • Lactation: VEKLURY can pass into breast milk. The developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding should be considered along with the mother’s clinical need for VEKLURY and any potential adverse effects on the breastfed child from VEKLURY or from an underlying maternal condition. Breastfeeding individuals with COVID-19 should follow practices according to clinical guidelines to avoid exposing the infant to COVID-19.

INDICATION

VEKLURY is indicated for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (birth to <18 years of age weighing ≥1.5 kg), who are:

  • Hospitalized, or
  • Not hospitalized, have mild-to-moderate COVID-19, and are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.

Please see full Prescribing Information for VEKLURY.

References: 1. VEKLURY. Prescribing Information. Gilead Sciences, Inc.; 2024. 2. Pitts J, Li J, Perry JK, et al. Remdesivir and GS-441524 retain antiviral activity against Delta, Omicron, and other emergent SARS-CoV-2 variants. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2022;66(6):e0022222. doi:10.1128/aac.00222-22 3. Rodriguez L, Hsiang T-Y, Li J, et al. Remdesivir retains potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Poster presented at: 30th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections; February 19-22, 2023; Seattle, WA; poster 562. Accessed March 8, 2024. https://www.croiconference.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/posters/2023/GMI-REV-75168_CROI_2023_poster_FINAL-133208775264314797.pdf 4. Vangeel L, Chiu W, De Jonghe S, et al. Remdesivir, molnupiravir and nirmatrelvir remain active against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and other variants of concern. Antiviral Res. 2022;198:105252. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2022.105252 5. Rodriguez L, Li J, Martin R, et al. Remdesivir and obeldesivir retain potent activity against SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variants. Poster presented at: IDWeek; October 11-15, 2023; Boston, MA; poster 545. 6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. SARS-CoV-2 variant classifications and definitions. Updated September 1, 2023. Accessed March 8, 2024. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/variant-classifications.html 7. Science Brief: Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. In: CDC COVID-19 Science Briefs [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2020. Updated January 28, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2024. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34009774 8. Science Brief: Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant. In: CDC COVID-19 Science Briefs [Internet]. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2020. Updated December 2, 2021. Accessed March 8, 2024. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34932278 9. Eastman RT, Roth JS, Brimacombe KR, et al. Remdesivir: a review of its discovery and development leading to Emergency Use Authorization for treatment of COVID-19. ACS Cent Sci. 2020;6(5):672-683. doi:10.1021/ascentsci.0c00489 10. Martin R, Li J, Parvangada A, et al. Genetic conservation of SARS-CoV-2 RNA replication complex in globally circulating isolates and recently emerged variants from humans and minks suggests minimal pre-existing resistance to remdesivir. Antiviral Res. 2021;188:105033. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2021.105033