WHO: Remdesivir ‘has little or no effect’ on Covid-19 survival

Remdesivir 'has little or no effect' on cOVID-19 survival
Remdesivir was one of the earliest drugs to be used in the treatment of Covid-19. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: A study from the World Health Organization (WHO) has found that anti-viral drug remdesivir has little to no effect on Covid patients’ chances of survival.

The WHO trial evaluated four potential treatment for Covid-19, including hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir.

Remdesivir was among the first to be used to treat Covid-19, and was recently given to US President Donald Trump when he was in hospital.

Gilead, the drug’s manufacturer, rejected the findings of the trial.

Gilead said in a statement that the findings of the study were “inconsistent” with others, and that it was “concerned” that the results have yet to be reviewed.

For its Solidarity clinical trial, the WHO tested the effects of four potential treatments – remdesivir, an Ebola drug, was one, but they also looked at hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug, auto-immune drug interferon, and the HIV drug combination of lopinavir and ritonavir.

A low-cost steroid named Dexamethasone now widely used on Covid patients in intensive care in the UK, was not included in this study.

The four drugs were tested with in total of 11,266 adult patients in more than 30 different countries and across 500 hospitals.

The results are yet to be peer-reviewed. The WHO said on Thursday that the result suggest that none of these treatments has a substantial effect on mortality or on the length of time spent in hospital.

Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, said on Wednesday that their trials on hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir were stopped in June because they had already proven ineffective. However, the other trials continued.

The WHO’s results appear to contradict a previous study which was published earlier this month, conducted by Gilead. That study concluded that treatment with remdesivir cut Covid recovery time by five days compared to patients given a placebo.

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