Coronavirus cure: Could ebola drug Remdesivir be used to treat COVID-19?


Adults and teens hospitalized in the United Kingdom with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infection should get a single infusion of 200 milligrams on the first day, followed by 100 milligrams for a few more days, depending on their medical situation, the MHRA said.

At his usual COVID briefing in London, Health Minister Matt Hancock called trials for the promising drug "probably the biggest step forward in the treatment of coronavirus since the crisis began".

The WHO has launched a review of the data it has in hand from the chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine arms in SOLIDARITY, but will continue dosing patients in the other arms that are testing remdesivir, AbbVie's HIV drug Kaletra (lopinavir/ritonavir) and interferon beta-1a.

For the time being and due to limited supplies, it will go to those most likely to benefit.

But after experiments conducted by the National Institutes for Health showed that the drug has sped up recovery time by more than 30-percent, it has positioned itself as the standard treatment for COVID-19.

Similar arrangements have already been made with other countries, including an emergency authorisation from the FDA in the United States and MHLW/PMDA in Japan.

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The drug is now undergoing clinical trials around the world, including in the UK. The median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo.

This shows fantastic progress.

"The latest, expert scientific advice is at the heart of every decision we make, and we will continue to monitor remdesivir's success in clinical trials across the country to ensure the best results for United Kingdom patients". The clinical trial involved 1,063 patients-538 of whom received remdesivir and 521 of whom received a placebo.

Allocation of the drug will be based on expert clinical advice and will take into consideration the situation where it is most likely to provide the greatest benefit.

Dr Stephen Griffin, Associate Professor in the School of Medicine, University of Leeds said the drug is unaffected by safe guarding proteins, unlike other drugs that are now being tested to help the fight against Covid-19.

In the United Kingdom, the Recovery trial looking at using this drug in patients remains open, but another one, using it in frontline NHS staff to prevent rather than treat infections, has paused recruiting more volunteers. Professor Peter Horby, who is leading the University of Oxford's large-scale RECOVERY trial of coronavirus drugs, told the BBC's Today programme this morning that his team hasn't seen that safety signal.