Remdesivir for COVID-19

Antiviral remdesivir continues to be studied as a treatment for COVID-19

(RxWiki News) Since remdesivir was granted emergency use authorization for COVID-19 treatment earlier this month, health officials have continued to learn more about this drug.

Earlier this month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted antiviral remdesivir emergency use authorization to treat the most severely ill COVID-19 patients.

This authorization was granted based on early results from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), which started Feb. 21, 2020.

The full data and trial results had not been available until now.

According to a report published May 22 in the New England Journal of Medicine, remdesivir may shorten the disease for those hospitalized with COVID-19. Researchers found that remdesivir was most beneficial for severely ill patients in the hospital who required oxygen.

The study enrolled 1,063 participants in 10 countries. It ended on April 19.

The trial had two groups: a group of 541 patients who received remdesivir and a group of 522 who received placebo.

Those in the remdesivir group received a 10-day course of the drug, which is given into the vein by a health care professional. They received a 200-mg loading dose on the first day and then one 100-mg every day for days two through 10.

The researchers found that those who received the remdesivir had an average recovery time of 11 days — compared to the 15 days it took to recover for those in the placebo group.

This study was sponsored by the NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIAID and NIH said they continue to sponsor additional studies that look at the safety and efficacy of remdesivir.