Remdesivir does not cut mortality rates or hospital stay of COVID-19 patients: WHO

Remdesivir does not cut mortality rates or hospital stay of COVID-19 patients: WHO

The antiviral drug remdesivir (Gilead Sciences) had little or no effect on the COVID-19 patients’ length of hospital stay or chances of survival, according to a recent clinical trial conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The trial named SOLIDARITY evaluated the effects of four potential drug regimens, including remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon, in 11,266 adult patients across more than 30 countries. The study found the regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the length of the in-hospital course among patients hospitalised with COVID-19, said the WHO.

However, the data from a recent US study of remdesivir by Gilead showed the treatment cut COVID-19 recovery time by five days compared with patients who got a placebo in a trial comprising 1,062 patients.

‘During the study, hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir were stopped in June after they proved ineffective, but other trials continued in more than 500 hospitals and 30 countries,” said the WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan.

Remdesivir received emergency use authorization from the US FDA on May 1, and has since been authorised for use in several countries.

The medication was among the first to be used as a treatment for COVID-19, was one of the drugs recently used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection. The results of the WHO trial is uploaded on the preprint server medRxiv ( https://bit.ly/3nViYIf ) and is yet to be peer reviewed.