UNITED STATES—President Trump announced on Friday, May 1 that an emergency use of Gilead Science’s experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir was authorized by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) with the intention to treat coronavirus patients.

The medication was authorized only after early results of a clinical study showed it helped to speed up recovery in those patients with coronavirus.

The emergency use order allows the drug to be distributed to health care providers and administered to hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The FDA normally requires evidence of a drug’s effectiveness after meticulously testing its use on patients via studies before it can be brought to the public. However, In health emergency cases, the FDA has the ability to waive these and other standards if the drugs potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984, gave positive feedback regarding the drug just a couple of days before President Trump announced its authorization. Fauci shared that preliminary results from an NIH study found 1,063 patients tested with the drug Remdesivir took 11 days to recover versus 15 days for others.

Gilead committed themselves to donating its available stock of the drug and plans to speed up to create more. With its current existing supply, medication amounts to 1.5 million individual doses and it is estimated this could mean 140,000 treatment courses based on a 10-day treatment duration per person.

Despite its authorization for emergency use due to the health emergency, Remdesivir will still need formal approval to treat coronavirus. The FDA previously approved emergency use authorization for malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine, but no evidence exists that it works as a treatment for COVID-19. As of May 2, there are more than 1 million confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, according to the CDC.