HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-WHO-REMDESIVIR: Coronavirus: Remdesivir does not shorten healing times, says WHO
GENEVA (Reuters) – Remdesivir, the experimental antiviral from US laboratory Gilead, has little or no effect on the length of hospital stay of patients with COVID-19 or on their chances of survival, according to the results of a clinical study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The treatment, one of the first to have been used to fight the disease caused by the new coronavirus, was notably one of those administered recently to US President Donald Trump.
Via his study called “Solidarity”, WHO has evaluated the effects of potential treatments including remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, the lopinavir-ritonavir combination (an approved treatment for HIV) and interferon, on 11,266 adult patients across more than 30 countries.
The results of the study, announced Thursday by the WHO, have yet to be analyzed. They have been uploaded to the medRxiv pre-release server.
Video: Covid-19: medical staff under pressure in laboratories and technical facilities (France 24)
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Earlier this month, data from a US study on Gilead’s remdesivir showed that the treatment could shorten patients’ recovery time by five days.
Responding to a Reuters request for comment, Gilead said the WHO data “appear inconsistent” compared to those obtained from studies validating the clinical benefits of remdesivir.
“We are concerned that the data from this open global study has not undergone the rigorous review necessary to allow for constructive scientific discussion.”, added the American laboratory.
The US drug administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of remdesivir in the United States on May 1. Since then, the use of the experimental antiviral has been authorized in several other countries.
(Deena Beasley and Stephanie Ulmer-Nebehay; French version Jean Terzian)