Search for COVID-19 cure: Remdesivir clinical trial yields promising result

Search for COVID-19 cure: Remdesivir clinical trial yields promising result
This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab.

Remdesivir, an antiviral drug initially used to treat Ebola, yields impressive results during its clinical trial against COVID-19.

The global pandemic brought about by the spread of the COVID-19 virus has brought the entire world to a screeching halt. Pharmaceutical companies are now racing against the clock to find an effective cure, with one particular treatment getting a lot of positive attention lately.

According to this report, 113 people diagnosed with COVID-19 infection were subjected to daily infusion of remdesivir. This clinical trial was conducted at the University of Chicago Medicine and has been at the centre of the race to find the ultimate cure. So far, the trial has yielded positive results.

In a statement acquired by Stat News, University of Chicago infectious diseases specialist Dr. Kathleen Mullane said,

“The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We’ve only had two patients perish.”

How does it work

Remdesivir was developed by the American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences and was initially slated as a cure for the Ebola virus. The drug, despite its early success, was eventually sidelined in favor of the more effective monoclonal antibody treatments.

It is important to note here that remdesivir is not a cure for COVID-19 infections. Instead, it is a drug that helps alleviate the symptoms brought about by the virus. According to clinical trial results, the drug works great in reducing fever and respiratory symptoms that are common to patients who are affected by the virus.

How soon can the cure be produced

Notable pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences is running clinical trials on patients who are showing moderate symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. This is a global trial that includes 1,600 patients in over 169 testing centres.

The company is also conducting the same clinical trials on patients who are showing severe symptoms. This particular study consists of 2,400 patients from 169 different testing centres.

Experts are still skeptical in calling remdesivir as the ultimate cure for COVID-19. As medical practitioners, they have to follow strict testing procedures. This is to make sure that the drug is safe.

Also, it will not have any aggravating factors, especially to patients who have underlying conditions. Some claim that Gilead is just cherry-picking its cases to create a sensation that its drug is effective.

Regardless of these skepticisms, the whole world has its eyes on remdesivir. Whether it is the drug that finally puts this pandemic to rest, no one can tell.

Image courtesy of NIAID/Wikimedia Commons and Bill Branson/Wikimedia Commons

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