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Coronavirus vaccine: Gilead's remdesivir drug trial shows promising results on certain COVID-19 patients

Coronavirus vaccine: Gilead's remdesivir drug trial shows promising results on certain COVID-19 patients

Coronavirus vaccine update: Experts have welcomed the findings, saying the results showed patients on remdesivir cut their recovery time by 27 per cent

The researchers said, 'Remdesivir was superior in shortening the time to recovery in adults hospitalised with COVID-19'. (Photo: Reuters) The researchers said, 'Remdesivir was superior in shortening the time to recovery in adults hospitalised with COVID-19'. (Photo: Reuters)

Gilead Sciences Inc's Remdesivir, the first drug cleared for the treatment of coronavirus, has been found to be effective on patients who need extra oxygen but are not dependent on ventilators or heart-lung bypass machines, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the experiment, patients were randomly assigned to receive either remdesivir (200 mg loading dose on day 1, followed by 100 mg daily for up to 9 additional days) or placebo for up to 10 days. Preliminary results of this trial suggest that a 10-day course of remdesivir was superior to placebo in the treatment of hospitalised patients with COVID-19.

The primary outcome was the time to recovery. In contrast to the placebo drug, remdesivir helped COIVID-19 infected patients to heal faster and allowed them to return home after about 11 days. Placebo treated coronavirus patients in 15 days.

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In addition to this, there were also signs that the medicine increased the survival rate of patients on remdesivir by 7.1 per cent. On the other hand, 11.9 per cent of placebo-experimented patients died within two weeks, the research added.

Experts have welcomed the findings, saying the results showed patients on remdesivir cut their recovery time by 27 per cent.

The researchers said, "Remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults hospitalised with COVID-19 and evidence of lower respiratory tract infection".

In the experiment, a total of 1, 063 patients underwent randomisation. 538 were assigned to remdesivir and 521 to placebo. Serious adverse events were reported for 114 of the 541 patients in the remdesivir group who underwent randomisation (21.1%) and 141 of the 522 patients in the placebo group who underwent randomisation (27%), the researchers added.

The US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) has made remdesivir available under an emergency use authorisation for the treatment of adults and children with severe coronavirus disease.

The trial was sponsored and primarily funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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