This drug may boost recovery from severe COVID-19

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In a new study, researchers found that drug remdesivir may speed time to clinical improvement for patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.

The research was conducted by a team at the Capital Medical University in Beijing.

The team conducted a study involving 237 adults admitted to the hospital with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and radiologically confirmed pneumonia.

Patients were randomly assigned to receive either remdesivir (158 patients) or placebo (79 patients) for 10 days.

The researchers found no difference in time to health improvement with remdesivir.

Among patients with a symptom duration of 10 or fewer days, though not statistically significant, there was faster time to clinical improvement for those receiving remdesivir versus placebo.

In a study conducted at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC)/Nebraska Medicine, 1,063 patients with advanced COVID-19 and lung damage were assigned to receive remdesivir or placebo.

Results indicated that those who received remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery compared with those receiving placebo, with a median time to recovery of 11 and 15 days, respectively.

A survival benefit was suggested with remdesivir, with mortality rates of 8.0% and 11.6% for patients receiving remdesivir and placebo, respectively.

The team says the study may help improve the treatment of COVID-19. It also gives people hope that soon this drug may be used widely.”

One author from the Wang study disclosed ties to Gilead Sciences, which manufactures remdesivir and provided the study drug.

The lead author of the study is Yeming Wang, M.D., from Capital Medical University in Beijing, China.

The study is published in The Lancet.

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