NIH Trial: Gilead’s Drug Works Best in COVID Patients on Oxygen

Bangladesh's Beximco Pharma Introduces Bemsivir First Generic Version of Antiviral Drug Remdesivir for COVID-19


"The investigational antiviral remdesivir is superior to the standard of care for the treatment of COVID-19", the NIH says, citing preliminary results from the randomized, controlled trial.

The trial, for which final results are still trickling in, showed that recovery time for patients given remdesivir was shortened by four days, or 31%, compared to placebo patients.

Remdesivir was discovered to reduce median healing interval to 11 days among patients handled the medication when compared with the 15 normally accepted by individuals who had been on placebo or standard care, according to a statement on April 27, that had been followed closely by the USA drug regulator forbidding it emergency use approval.

However, the result is just below the statistical reliability threshold, meaning it could be down to chance rather than the capability of the drug.

"Our findings highlight the need to identify COVID-19 cases and start antiviral treatment before the pulmonary disease progresses to require mechanical ventilation", the researchers wrote. The review led US public health officials to disclose the preliminary findings and seek emergency clearance of the medicine, which was granted by the Food and Drug Administration on May 1.

Bangladesh's pharmaceutical giant Beximco Pharma on Thursday introduced what it said was the world's first generic version of the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir, which has grabbed attention as one of the most promising treatments for the COVID-19.

The publication also allowed greater insight into which patients seemed to respond best to treatment.

"We look forward to the initiation of combination studies of remdesivir to understand whether the addition of other drugs may enhance patient outcomes", Gilead Chief Medical Officer Merdad Parsey said in a statement.

As noted, the investigators found remdesivir was most beneficial for hospitalized patients with severe disease who required supplemental oxygen. While the lack of benefit might have stemmed from the limited number of patients in those groups, there were few initial signs that the drug was helping the sickest patients. It's possible some patients who could benefit from the medicine may miss the window, if those results hold up.

Remdesivir has recently been authorised by the U.S. for emergency use in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

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