Trials of the drug in humans are ongoing, and early data has shown the drug helped patients recover more quickly from the illness caused by the new coronavirus.
In the study, 12 monkeys were deliberately infected with the coronavirus, and half of them were given early treatment with remdesivir.
Remdesivir, which is administered intravenously in hospital, is the first drug to show improvement in Covid-19 patients in formal clinical trials, and new information about its efficacy is being closely watched around the world, as nations battle the pandemic.
Macaques that received remdesivir did not show signs of respiratory disease and had reduced damage to the lungs, according to the study authors.
Gilead Sciences had on May 29 applied for marketing authorisation for remdesivir in India. The drug is being touted as a potential treatment for Covid-19. Gilead Sciences, the patent holder of the drug, has the complete data about the pre-clinical and clinical studies for remdesivir.
Gilead Sciences Inc has entered into non-exclusive licensing agreements with pharma firms, including three domestic majors Cipla, Jubilant Life Sciences and Hetero, for manufacture and distribution of remdesivir.
Remdesivir is being closely watched after the US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorisation (EUA) last month, citing results from a US government study that showed the drug reduced hospitalisation stays by 31 per cent, or about four days, compared to a placebo.