Remdesivir reduces the risk of hospitalization and medical visits due to COVID-19 in high-risk patients, new data suggest.
California-based Gilead Sciences Inc, the maker of the antiviral drug, published the results of its Phase III clinical trial on Wednesday.
Researchers found patients treated with remdesivir were 87 percent less likely to be hospitalized and 81 less likely to require a medical visit than those who were given a placebo.
The team says the findings shows that remdesivir, the only drug fully approved to treat severely ill coronavirus patients, can also be used for those who are at-high risk of becoming seriously ill – but are still early on in their infection.
Remdesivir was developed Gilead to treat Ebola, the deadly fever that emerged in West Africa in 2014.
While it was unsuccessful in treating Ebola, the drug appears to interfere with the ability of the coronavirus to copy its genetic material.
In April 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released results from a study that found remdesivir helped patients recover 31 percent faster.
This led to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing emergency use authorization for the drug the following month.
A few months later, in October 2020, the FDA fully approved the drug of the use in adults and in pediatric patients ages 12 to 17 who require hospitalization.
Read more: ‘Anti-viral drug remdesivir reduces risk of hospitalization in high-risk “Covid”-19 patients by 87% when given early’ – no, it kills people with organ failure, not least the kidneys, causing the abdominal cavity and lungs to fill with water which they then call ‘Covid-19’