The antiviral drug remdesivir, touted as Covid-19 treatment, had little or no effect in treating patients hospitalized with coronavirus, a new study by the World Health Organization said. There had been widespread hope that remdesivir could treat the deadly virus. Also Read - After Reports of Shortage of Remdesivir, Zydus Cadila Launches Cheapest Generic Version of The Drug For COVID Treatment
The results come after WHO’s ‘Solidarity’ trial, evaluated the effects of four potential drug regimens, including redeliver, 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 hospitalized with COVID-19, the WHO said on Thursday. The results of the WHO trial also showed that the drugs had little effect on how long patients stayed in hospital.
“It’s certainly disappointing. What all of us would like to see is what is frequently called a ‘magic bullet’; a drug that’s already in existence, that is safe and works effectively in patients. Unfortunately, in this case, this trial at least suggests the benefits of remdesivir weren’t there at all.” Julie Fischer, an associate research professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Georgetown University told Al Jazeera.
Notably, the antiviral drug was among the first to be used as a treatment for COVID-19 and was also used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection. It was developed by US drugmaker Gilead Sciences, initially as a potential medicine to treat Ebola.
The medication had received regulatory approvals or temporary authorisations to treat COVID-19 in approximately 50 countries including India.