The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun the review procedure for a new Covid-19 treatment.
EMA experts are due to evaluate the data from studies on the effect of the antiviral agent Molnupiravir, the EMA said in Amsterdam on Monday.
The drug, which is taken in pill form, is produced jointly by pharmaceutical companies Merck Sharp & Dohme and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
According to initial test results, the drug weakens the effect of the coronavirus on the body, which could theoretically mean an end to hospitalizations for Covid-19 and even to deaths.
The EMA experts are now examining data on the quality, safety and efficacy of the new drug.
Approval in the EU
As soon as the tests are completed, the manufacturer can apply for approval in the EU, though the EMA has not provided a time frame for this.
So far, only one drug for the treatment of Covid-19 has been approved for use in the EU, while applications for approval have been submitted for five others medicines, four of which are currently under review.