An antiviral drug that has been shown in studies to prevent the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in animals.
Early on in the pandemic and despite the lack of confirmatory evidence, some countries including America used Remdesivir as an emergency drug for compassionate use for patients with COVID-19. The US Food and Drug Administration has now, despite conflicting evidence, prematurely granted its full approval for COVID-19 treatment to remedesivir, now marketed as Veklury.
In early October 2020, The New England Journal of Medicine published a report on the results of a trial funded by the National Institutes of Health that found that remdesivir decreased recovery time in Covid-19 patients who were hospitalized with less severe illness, but did not curb mortality. Other studies have shown no benefit, including the World Health Organization’s Solidarity trial, released as a preprint on Oct. 15. The severity of COVID-19 is associated with the body’s own immune response, mainly the cytokine storm.
The development of new variants of remdesivir is underway, including a version that can be inhaled. This will make it easier to administer the drug outside hospital settings, at an early stage of the disease.