Results from the remdesivir COVID-19 trial are out, and it’s good news

An ampule of remdesivir

Enlarge / Treatment with
the antiviral drug remdesivir shortens the recovery time for
patients with COVID-19. (credit: digicomphoto/Getty Images)

On Friday, some good news in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 was
published in
The New England Journal of Medicine
. The antiviral drug
remdesivir—originally
developed as a potential treatment for Ebola
—was shown to
shorten recovery time for patients infected with the coronavirus.

In late April
, early results from this phase 3 clinical trial
suggested that remdesivir might be of value in treating COVID-19
patients—this new paper confirms that. It’s not a cure, but the
drug shortened the recovery time from an average of 15 days to 11
days.

The trial involved 1,059 COVID-19 patients across 60 different
sites in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Five hundred and
thirty-eight patients were treated with a 10-day course of
remdesivir; the other 521 patients were given a course of placebo
on the same schedule. The patients were assessed daily, both to
determine the severity of their symptoms as well as any side
effects that could be caused by the drug,
which interferes with the the virus’ ability to copy its
RNA
.

What was this trial looking at?

The main thing being measured in this study was how long a
patient took to recover, using an eight-point clinical scale that
ranged from “not hospitalized,” through increasing levels of care
required, and up to “death.” Secondary outcomes for the trial
looked at mortality at two and four weeks after treatment began, as
well as any serious side effects that occurred during the
trial.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
Results from the remdesivir COVID-19 trial are out, and it’s
good news