In a new study, researchers are testing the antiviral drug remdesivir as a viable medicine to treat COVID-19 in late January.
The drug was originally developed in response to the 2014 Ebola pandemic.
This week, scientists could see results from the clinical trial of this drug.
The research was conducted by a team at the Texas A&M University.
In the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the team has focused solely on searching for drugs to treat COVID-19.
The researchers are working to develop drugs that can prevent SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—and other coronaviruses from replicating once inside human cells.
They’re also exploring how to counteract the effect of the viruses in human plasma.
The group has made big progress in a very short time toward their ultimate goal: to push a COVID-19 drug candidate to preclinical trials and clinical testing before the pandemic subsides.
Remdesivir is being tested in at least five large-scale clinical trials around the world and also has been delivered to some patients, including the first known US case confirmed January 21 in Washington.
That patient recovered after the compassionate use of remdesivir.
While the team says they remain convinced it’s the right treatment, they caution that success shouldn’t be viewed as a one-shot approach, given such a swift-moving target as COVID-19.
Remdesivir is still the best and probably the only option to target the virus directly in patients.
With the US clinical trial set to finish this week, the team is optimistic that the final results released this week will speak for themselves.
However, with remdesivir poised to be the only approved drug to treat COVID-19, its large-scale use will occur, and some drug-resistant virus strains will evolve.
The lead author of the study is Wenshe Ray Liu.
The study is published in ChemBioChem.
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