A new global study that was elaborated by the World Health Organization notes that remdesivir, an antiviral drug that appeared to be quite promising against COVID-19, doesn’t decrease the rate of mortality among patients, nor does it help them to recover at a faster pace.
Remdesivir was promoted heavily in recent times as an efficient drug against COVID-19, and it is the only drug that received an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), so it could be used in severe cases.
The study conducted by the WHO explored the potential of four drugs: remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, a combination between lopinavir and ritonavir, and interferon. Results are quite grim, as none of the drugs are effective in reducing the severity of the virus. There are also no signs that would suggest a faster recovery.
During the trials, researchers focused on the way in which drugs can influence the mortality rate, the need to be connected to a ventilator, and the amount of time spent in the hospital. Within the study, it is underlined that each of the drugs has disappointing results.
A previous study, which was elaborated in the US, argued that remdesivir could shorten the recovery period among COVID-19 patients by up to 30%. However, it doesn’t seem to have any effect on mild cases. The company that manufacturers the drug has stated several clinical trials have shown that the drug is effective.
The study conducted by the WHO involved more than 11,000 patients spread across 30 countries. According to the WHO, the trial will continue in the following months as new antiviral drugs have been developed, and alternative options like immunomodulators and monoclonal antibodies have to explore, as they might offer potential benefits.
Some researchers have championed the potential of monoclonal antibody treatments, but more trials are needed.