It either cures or does not cure: the antiviral drug remdesivir did not pass the test

It either cures or does not cure: the antiviral drug remdesivir did not pass the test

25 April 2020, 18:15Science
The antiviral drug remdesivir, which has high hopes for the treatment of COVID-19, has failed in the first randomized clinical trial, reports AFP.

Irina Ziganshina

A brief summary was published on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO). It said that 237 patients took part in a study in China: 158 of them took the drug, and 79 were in the control group. In 18 patients, due to side effects, taking remdesivir was soon discontinued. Those who continued to take it did not notice earlier clinical improvements compared to the control group. After a month, 13.9% of patients receiving remdesivir died, 12.8% died in the control group. This difference is not statistically significant.

Shortly after the Financial Times published a screenshot of the resume, WHO removed the text from its website, saying that the project was under expert review and the material was published by mistake. Gilead Sciences, an American biopharmaceutical company that created remdesivir and conducted a trial, in turn stated that the study was terminated early due to the insufficient number of participants, however, “data trends indicate the potential benefits of remdesivir, especially among patients receiving early treatment stages of the disease. "

Remdesivir - a drug that was originally created to treat Ebola, but which turned out to be not the most effective for this, was one of the first drugs that they began to test against the new coronavirus. Several large-scale studies are underway in the world at once, which should soon give a clearer picture of its real possibilities.

So, for example, there is evidence that remdesivir performed well in treating patients in a Chicago hospital. In addition, as reported by the US National Institute of Health, the drug has proven effective in a small experiment on monkeys.

In addition to remdesivir, treatment with antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine is actively tested in the world (the results are still very contradictory), as well as injections of antibodies obtained from people who have already had COVID-19.

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