It looks like we have the first good news in the last few months! Perhaps scientists from the United States have found a medicine that blocks the virus – remdesevir. The antiviral drug is currently undergoing clinical trials. Unfortunately, some data indicate complications, primarily associated with cardiovascular diseases. One way or another, on April 29, the first evidence was published that this experimental drug, originally invented to fight the Ebola virus, could help patients recover from the infection faster. A government-funded study found that patients taking remdesivir recovered faster than those who did not. We tell what is known about the new drug.
Found a cure for coronavirus?
Let me remind you that at the end of April 2020, there is no cure for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes CoVID-19. According to CNN, the US Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved a single drug for treating coronavirus. However, according to The New York Times, the department plans to announce permission to use emergency remdesevir. This information is confirmed by The Times, citing a senior United States administration official.
Moreover, the results were so convincing that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the United States (NIAID) issued a special statement on this subject, confirming the effectiveness of the drug. Meanwhile, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) say that it is too early to comment on the results of the study of remdesivir – after all, it has not yet passed completely clinical trials.
The data show that remdesivir has an unambiguous significant positive effect, accelerating recovery.
Head of NIAID Anthony Fauci.
It is known that the experiment began more than two months ago, on February 21. More than 1000 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of CoVID-19 from Europe, Asia, and the United States acted as test subjects. Preliminary results showed that patients who took remdesivir recovered faster than those who did not. So, remdesivir improved the recovery time of patients from 15 to 11 days.
The effect obtained is similar to the effect that the drug Tamiflu has on the flu – it does not treat patients quickly, but can significantly reduce the duration of the disease. If remdesevir really works, then in this situation this is very good news. The fact is that many people carry the infection outside the hospital and any drug that helps to recover faster is worth its weight in gold. Especially when there is no vaccine or medicine. And given the fact that in the United States the number of infected has exceeded one million, and at least 60,000 people have become victims of coronavirus, federal officials are eager to give people any hope.
What is remdesevir?
The remdesivir drug used against the Ebola virus is one of several drugs tested against CoVID-19. It should be noted that the drug is listed in the recommendations of the Ministry of Health for the treatment of coronavirus infection.
It is important to understand that remdesivir is not the only drug that doctors have hopes for in the fight against CoVID-19. We previously wrote that the antimalarial drug Chloroquine was successful in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the laboratory. One way or another, WHO usually collects evidence from several studies before considering and criticizing the evidence.
However, even despite the positive results, the researchers still have a lot of work, moreover, there is a search for other methods of treatment. In addition, reducing the length of stay of those infected in the hospital is important, as patients who stay there longer are at increased risk of complications, especially if they are connected to ventilators.
A day earlier, on April 28, another study was published in the scientific journal The Lancet to test the effects of remdemevir on the virus. The experiment was conducted in China, but its results are directly opposite to those obtained by American colleagues – it was not possible to prove the effectiveness of the drug. The reason for such conflicting data is probably due to the limited number of subjects – there were only 237. Moreover, according to the BBC, the experiment had to be completed ahead of schedule precisely because of the lack of participants.
Nevertheless, this does not detract from the fact that the study is expanding and carried out in 180 points around the world, including in China, France, Italy, and the UK, and preliminary results indicate the effectiveness of remdesevir.