What is remdesivir, and can it help stop the spread of coronavirus?

Early data suggests remdesivir can cut recovery time of Covid-19 pateints by about four days

According to BBC, experts found the early results of Remdesivir studies suggesting that it can shorten the recovery time of the people infected by the novel coronavirus by about four days.

Remdesivir is now available through an FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) for treatment of children and adults with severe Covid-19. Remdesivir patients faced a mortality rate of 7.1 percent at 14 days.

The Department of Health and Social Care said that the drug will be allocated "based on expert clinical advice and will take into consideration the situation where it is most likely to provide the greatest benefit".

Financed by remdesivir's maker, Gilead Sciences, the study included about 400 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized but not on a ventilator in 55 hospitals around the world, including the Brigham in Boston and Miriam Hospital in Providence.

As mentioned above, the median time to recovery in the remdesivir group was 11 days compared with 15 days for those in the placebo group. "It will also continue to be used in clinical trials".

Lord Bethell, minister for innovation, said: 'This shows fantastic progress.


"Beyond the ongoing studies of remdesivir, we look forward to the initiation of combination studies of remdesivir to understand whether the addition of other drugs may enhance patient outcomes", Gilead Sciences Inc said in a statement on Monday.

"We can instead hope for improved recovery rates and a reduction in patient mortality", Griffin said.

But others have raised concerns about the trial's data, noting researchers changed the study's main goal before they analyzed the data, which could lead to skewed results, STAT News reports.

Beigel and colleagues noted that they will continue to conduct more analyses after all the patients have completed 28 days of follow-up, which may shed light on the critical subgroup. Several antiviral and anti-inflammatory drugs are under investigation, but remdesivir was the first out of the gate with evidence of modest effects. The overreaction of the immune system for the virus can be prevented by immune-suppressing drugs.

In the randomised, controlled trial, clinicians enrolled adults hospitalised with Covid-19 who showed infection in the lower respiratory tract and suffered from moderate to severe disease.

Gilead's trial involved 397 patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19, most of whom were not on ventilators.

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