The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm with over 3.3 million positive cases globally. Scientists and pharmaceutical companies are giving each other a run in developing a potential treatment for the feared coronavirus.
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) May 2, 2020
One of the leading drugs in the race to curing coronavirus is remdesivir. Tests were conducted in the US and patients who were on remdesivir recovered significantly quicker in comparison to those on a placebo.
The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) supervised the remdesivir trials and reported that patients on remdesivir recovered 31% faster than those receiving placebo. “Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo,” said NIAID.
Initial results of the trial suggested that patients on the drug have lower chances of death, however the difference was not statistically significant. While the mortality rate of patients on the placebo is a little below 11.6%, that of patients on ramdesivir is only 8%.
— Moupali Das, MD, MPH (@drmoupali) May 2, 2020
Future Scope of Remdesivir
In the trial that began on 21st Februrary, more than a thousand patients from Europe, America and Asia were involved. The 1st patient being an American national who was initially quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship and was later moved to the Medical Center at University of Nebraska.
The manufacturer of remdesivir is Gilead Sciences who previously tested the drug as a potential treatment for the Ebola virus, but unfortunately the drug had failed the trial.
Remdesivir works differently from other drugs in that it acts on the virus directly while other drugs try to contain the deadly autoimmune response of the coronavirus. Remdesivir disrupts the virus’ replicating process. The drug accomplishes this by imitating one of the four building blocks of DNA and RNA leading to its absorption.
However, no drugs have been approved as a standard COVID-19 treatment. Remdesivir must pass through more tests before it can officially be considered as an effective remedy for the coronavirus.