The European Commission says it has sealed a deal with pharmaceutical company Gilead to buy 500,000 treatment courses of remdesivir.
No treatment has yet proved able to prevent serious illness after a coronavirus infection, but the antiviral drug also known by its commercial name Veklury has helped some Covid-19 patients recover faster.
Remdesivir was approved as a treatment for coronavirus by the Commission in July.
The EU’s executive arm said the joint procurement contract has been signed by 36 participants, including all 27 EU countries and the UK.
The agreement will allow countries to purchase the drug for immediate use and stockpiling needs, Gilead said.
“Today we secure access to remdesivir for the treatment of up to 500,000 patients in need,” said Stella Kyriakides, the commissioner for health and food safety.