A new study is raising fresh questions about the efficacy of Gilead Sciences Inc's anti-viral medication remdesivir in COVID-19 patients.
A randomized, controlled trial of remdesivir in 584 moderately ill COVID-19 patients hospitalized with pneumonia yielded disappointing results in research published on Friday in JAMA. Compared to standard care without remdesivir, a 10-day course of the drug did not show a statistically significant effect on disease course at 11 days after treatment started, the study found.
A five-day remdesivir course did make a statistically significant difference, but one so small that the researchers are not sure it really matters.
Several other gold-standard trials are still underway, but as of now important questions remain regarding remdesivir's efficacy, Erin McCreary and Derek Angus of the University of Pittsburgh wrote in an editorial published alongside the study. They raised questions about whether some patients get more benefit from remdesivir than others and whether it matters if patients receive remdesivir and steroids together.
It is still possible that remdesivir could improve recovery for millions of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, they added, but more research is needed before that becomes clear.
Remdesivir is currently sold under an emergency-use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.
Gilead has filed an application seeking full FDA approval. (https://bit.ly/2E59k3T;
© 2021 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.