Remdesivir for Coronavirus
Currently remdesivir has not been approved by health authorities around the world, and given it was mainly being used for Ebola, supply is low. But it is being used in clinical trials, and many countries are attempting to get access to the drug for use in their Covid-19 studies.
What is Remdesivir?
Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral produced by the US pharmaceutical company Gilead, initially as a potential treatment for the Ebola virus. It was rapidly pushed through clinical trials after showing promising results in the lab and was then rolled out more widely in affected areas of Africa.
Remdesivir has been revived with the outbreak of Covid-19. This is because it showed promising results in preventing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars), which are also caused by coronaviruses.
How Remdesivir works?
Currently remdesivir has not been approved by health authorities around the world, and given it was mainly being used for Ebola, supply is low. But it is being used in clinical trials, and many countries are attempting to get access to the drug for use in their Covid-19 studies. There has been a spike in applications to Gilead for the drug from countries where Covid-19 has been particularly devastating.
In previous animal studies of Mers-CoV, US researchers found remdesivir blocks a particular enzyme that is required for viral replication. Scientists hope it will have a similar effect on Covid-19.
Remdesivir was originally developed as an Ebola treatment. It is an antiviral and works by attacking an enzyme that a virus needs to replicate inside our cells.
Before this drug can be made more widely available, the data and results need to be reviewed by the regulators to assess whether the drug can be licensed, and then they need assessment by the relevant health authorities in various countries. While this is happening, long-term data from trials will be obtained to check whether the drug also prevents deaths from Covid-19.
To conclude, there are no concrete results yet that remdesivir can be a treatment for COVID 19 however, it looks promising and trials are on their way. Preliminary results indicate that remdesivir has some effect against COVID 19 and can help patients with Covid-19. We need to see the full results, but if confirmed this would be a fantastic result and great news for the fight against Covid-19.
Boseley, S. (2020, April 29). Remdesivir: early findings on experimental coronavirus drugs offer 'quite good news'. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/29/remdesivir-coronavirus-drug-experimental
Gallagher, J. (2020, April 29). Remdesivir: Drug has 'clear-cut' power to fight coronavirus. Retrieved May 5, 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52478783