A gleam of hope amid the Coronavirus pandemic has emerged in the form of a new experimental drug that appears to be an effective treatment for the novel COVID-19.
Patients infected with the deadly virus who are getting an experimental drug called “remdesivir” have been recovering quickly —with most going home in days—, doctors say, CNN reported Thursday, citing a STAT News essay about the trial.
According to the STAT report, the patients taking part in a clinical trial of the drug have all had severe respiratory symptoms and fever, but were able to leave the hospital after less than a week of treatment.
“The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We’ve only had two patients perish,” Dr. Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago who is leading the clinical trial, said in a video obtained by STAT, according to CNN.
The drug, made by Gilead Sciences, was tested against Ebola with little success, but multiple studies in animals showed the drug could both prevent and treat coronaviruses related to Covid-19, including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
Back in February, the World Health Organization said remdesivir showed potential against Covid-19.
STAT said it obtained and viewed a copy of the video discussion Mullane had last week with colleagues about the trial.
“Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn’t have to be 10 days,” she was quoted as saying.
Trials of the drug are ongoing at dozens of other clinical centers. Gilead is sponsoring tests of the drug in 2,400 patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms in 152 trial sites around the world. It’s also testing the drug in 1,600 patients with moderate symptoms at 169 hospitals and clinics around the world.
Gilead said it expected results from the trial by the end of the month.
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