Cheshire Medical Center

Michael Moore / Sentinel Staff

Cheshire Medical Center in Keene.

A new drug that has shown promise in treating COVID-19 has been delivered to Cheshire Medical Center, the commissioner of the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday.

During an afternoon news conference, Commissioner Lori Shibinette announced that the state received a shipment of 400 vials of Remdesivir on Tuesday.

The antiviral drug received emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this month.

She said the drug was immediately distributed to 13 New Hampshire hospitals. Cheshire Medical Center, in Keene, was the only one in the Monadnock Region. Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, which is part of the same health-care system, received some of the medicine as well.

The FDA is allowing the drug to be used to treat people hospitalized with severe symptoms of COVID-19, including those with low blood oxygen levels or those who need oxygen therapy or more intensive breathing support, like a ventilator. The drug would be administered intravenously.

The emergency-use authorization does not mean the drug has been formally approved by the FDA. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said the authorization was issued just two days after clinical trials performed by the National Institutes of Health “showed promising results.”

Mia Summerson can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1435, or msummerson@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter

@MiaSummerson