A drug used to treat Ebola patients is showing signs of hope against the COVID-19 virus in early trials, according to a press release from biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. The trial found that patients who received a 5-day dosage of the medication showed similar signs of improvement compared to a 10-day dosage.
The drug is also used for Marburg, MERS and SARS viruses.
“Unlike traditional drug development, we are attempting to evaluate an investigational agent alongside an evolving global pandemic. Multiple concurrent studies are helping inform whether remdesivir is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19 and how to best utilize the drug,” said Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences in a statement released Wednesday.
The statement continued, “These study results complement data from the placebo-controlled study of remdesivir conducted by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and help to determine the optimal duration of treatment with remdesivir. The study demonstrates the potential for some patients to be treated with a 5-day regimen, which could significantly expand the number of patients who could be treated with our current supply of remdesivir. This is particularly important in the setting of a pandemic, to help hospitals and healthcare workers treat more patients in urgent need of care.”
More than half of the patients treated early on in their diagnosis were discharged from the hospital before 14 days, according to the release.