Remdesivir fails to prevent Covid-19 deaths in massive trial.
Remdesivir, the only antiviral drug sanctioned by the US Food and Drink Administration (FDA) to treat Covid-19, has “little or no effect” in preventing patient mortality, according to WHO’s ‘Solidarity’ study.
The trial “to evaluate the effectiveness of four drugs for Covid-19 treatment” involved more than 11,300 participants at hundreds of hospitals in 30 different countries.
Treatments used included remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir, interferon, or interferon plus lopinavir, given individually or in combination.
"Interim results from the trial now show that the other two drugs in the trial, remdesivir and interferon, have little or no effect in preventing death from #COVID19 or reducing time in hospital"-@DrTedros
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) October 16, 2020
Around 4,100 Covid-19 participants were given no drug treatment at all.
None of the drugs or drug cocktails prevented mortality, risk for mechanical ventilation, or length of hospital stay compared with patients who received no drug treatment.
“We would like to thank all of the patients and clinicians who participated so far in this unprecedented study, and the countries and hospitals who covered the costs of the trial,” said WHO.
It added: “The Solidarity Trial is still recruiting about 2,000 patients every month and will assess other treatments, including monoclonal antibodies and new antivirals”.
Gilead Sciences disagreed with WHO’s conclusions, reports the New York Times, pointing out the wide range of treatments evaluated under a wide range of circumstances.
More rigorous investigations have demonstrated a benefit, argued the drug manufacturer.
However, the authors of the WHO study state their findings are “unpromising” for remdesivir, initially developed as a therapy for Ebola and hepatitis C.
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