World Health Organization study finds remdesivir didn’t help COVID-19 patients

WHO trial to assess other antibody antiviral drugs after remdesivir doubt

According to a report by Reuters, data from a USA study of remdesivir lead by Gilead showed the use of the treatment cut COVID-19 recovery time by five days in a trial comprising 1,062 patients.

The WHO trial was conducted in 11,266 adult patients in more than 30 countries, and also found that other medicines repurposed since the pandemic began - malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon - also offered little or no benefit to Covid-19 patients.

Solidarity examined the effect of remdesivir, along with other drugs, in a global trial. It said a USA study comprising of about 1,000 patients showed recovery time could be cut by up to five days compared with patients who were only given a placebo.

"There are certain soft end points like if there are any particular subsets that benefit more; like Americans are saying that it cut shorts the recovery time etc., which we will get to know as the trial is ongoing", he told HT.

Hydroxychloroquine's off-label use for moderately-ill coronavirus patients was approved by India's drug regulator, while remdesivir was approved for "emergency use authorization".

The European Union has given remdesivir emergency authorisation and agreed to $1.2 billion remdesivir deal on Tuesday, weeks after Gilead was informed by the World Health Organization about the results of the Solidarity trial.

"The trial tested four repurposed drugs, namely, remdesivir, interferon 1a, lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroquine".

The Solidarity trial, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, found Remdesivir did not "substantially affect mortality", reduce the need to ventilate patients, or shorten hospital stays.

The trial recorded 301 deaths among 2,743 patients who received remdesivir and 303 deaths among 2,708 control patients who had received best standard care.


"The main outcomes of mortality, initiation of ventilation and hospitalisation duration were not clearly reduced by any study drug", wrote the authors of a preliminary paper on the findings, released on the preprint website medRxiv Thursday.

Solidarity continues to recruit about 2,000 patients a month in its search for more effective treatments for COVID-19 with many countries, especially in Europe, now experiencing a surge in new cases of coronavirus.

The SOLIDARITY trial is the largest randomised, controlled study of its kind.

The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. It found that all of the drugs tested had "little or no effect" on mortality, the need to be ventilated or the amount of days spent in a hospital.

"We're looking at what's next".

The results have not been published in a journal or reviewed by independent scientists, but were posted on a site researchers use to share results quickly.

Women are more likely than men to consider COVID-19 a serious problem and to agree and comply with restrictions like staying home and wearing masks, according to a survey in March/April of more than 21,000 people in eight wealthy countries.

She called it a "good experience" all-in-all, and on Wednesday before the data was released, she said next plans will involve monoclonal antibodies, immunomodulators and new antiviral drugs developed within the last few months.

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