COVID-19 experimental drug Remdesivir fails in human trial –Reports

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The experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir has failed in its first randomised clinical trial to treat the COVID-19 illness in relation to draft documents that were accidentally published by the World Health Organisation, reports indicated Thursday, April 23.

Gilead Sciences, the company behind the medicine, disputed how the now deleted post had characterised the findings, saying the data showed a “potential benefit.”

According to The Financial Times, researchers in China carried out a study on 237 patients, giving the drug to 158 and comparing their progress with a control group of 79.

A summary of the experiment said Remdesivir was “not associated with a difference in time to clinical improvement” compared to the control, according to health news site Stat, which posted a screenshot.

After a month, 13.9 percent of the patients on Remdesivir had died, compared to 12.8 percent of those in the control group.

A spokesman for Gilead told AFP: “We believe the post included inappropriate characterisations of the study,” saying it was terminated early due to low enrollment and was therefore not statistically meaningful.

“As such, the study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in disease,” he said.

The study does not represent the final word on the matter and there are several large-scale trials in advanced stages that should soon provide a clearer picture.

Remdesivir, which is administered intravenously, was among the first drugs mooted as a treatment for the novel Coronavirus, and as such has great hopes riding on it.

Recently, Stat reported it had shown significant efficacy at a Chicago hospital, in the United States, where patients who are part of one of the major trials are being treated.

The US National Institute for Health also reported it had proved effective in a small experiment on monkeys.

Remdesivir belongs to a class of drugs that act on the virus directly, as opposed to controlling the abnormal and often lethal autoimmune response it causes.

It mimics one of the four building blocks of RNA and DNA and gets absorbed into the virus’s genome, which in turn stops the pathogen from replicating, stated the report.

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