Thursday, 30 April 2020

Hope for treatment? Remdesivir revisited.

I posted regarding Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug which had showed early promising effects for COVID. This showed shortening of the recovery time from 15 to 11 days and a reduction in mortality from 11 to 8%. So, any talk of a 'cure' is mis-placed, hopefully it might help.

Unfortunately, it showed no benefit in a subsequent trial in China. This was inadvertently posted by the WHO, noticed by the worlds press, and then quickly removed for peer review. Now it's been published in the Lancet. 

Today I read that hopes for this treatment are alive and well, at least for the moment. It seems that Gilead are now pressing ahead with larger longer trials of the intravenous drug and for better end-points. The results will be eagerly awaited.  

It may be that Remdesivir will find a role, perhaps even in combination with other drugs as the results of trials come in. COVID science is moving along at an incredible pace. Patients and patience are needed.

One disadvantage is that it's an intravenous drug with implications for its use and availability for most of the world, las well as its cost. 

The other issue is whether, like many anti virals (and MS drugs) it will be more effective if administered  early and to at-risk patients with milder illness. Personally I think this likely to be the case but makes the issues of administration and cost loom larger still.

In any case, until the trial results roll in, hope springs eternal. 

Watch this space!

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