Gilead’s Remdesivir Is Studied for COVID-19

A drug that failed against Ebola lessens recovery time



Remdesivir, previously shown to be life-saving in earlier results from California, is being repurposed from its initial failed tests against Ebola. The RNS polymerase-inhibiting drug developed by Gilead however has been shown to prevent and treat other coronaviruses that are up to 82-percent genetically identical to other coronaviruses including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

“Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn’t have to be 10 days,” Dr. Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago says of the early results from clinical trials of the experimental drug remdesivir. Dr. Mullane is the leader of the clinical trial occurring at over 300 sites around the world. She is quoted in a video conversation with other doctors about the early results. The video was obtained by STAT News.

“The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We’ve only had two patients perish,” she also said in the video.

The work may be promising but lacks control groups. Therefore, the trials do not live up to the “gold standard” for a controlled trial. On the other hand, there should be a lot of results. The trials are ongoing worldwide. They include 2,400 acute-coronavirus patients from 152 trial sites and 1,600 more persons with lesser symptoms at 169 hospitals and care centers.

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