According to Stanford News publication dated APR 17 2020: “With no approved treatments for COVID-19, Stanford Medicine has joined large-scale clinical trials to determine if Remdesivir, an experimental anti-viral medication, works.”
“We urgently need a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19,” said Anthony Fauci, MD, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in a press release announcing the start of the NIH’s Remdesivir trial. “A randomized, placebo-controlled trial is the gold standard for determining if an experimental treatment can benefit patients.” That same month, while speaking about the coronavirus, Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization announced, “There’s only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy, and that’s Remdesivir.”
Remdesivir is not yet approved by any Medical and Health authority and scientist are still looking for further data.
According to World Health Organization (WHO):
Remdesivir comes under Solidarity clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments.
Based on evidence from laboratory, animal and clinical studies, the following treatment options were selected: Remdesivir; Lopinavir/Ritonavir; Lopinavir/Ritonavir with Interferon beta-1a; and Chloroquine or Hydroxychloroquine.
Remdesivir was previously tested as an Ebola treatment. It has generated promising results in animal studies for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), which are also caused by coronaviruses, suggesting it may have some effect in patients with COVID-19.
Lopinavir/Ritonavir is a licensed treatment for HIV. Evidence for COVID-19, MERS and SARS is yet to show it can improve clinical outcomes or prevent infection. This trial aims to identify and confirm any benefit for COVID-19 patients. While there are indications from laboratory experiments that this combination may be effective against COVID-19, studies done so far in COVID-19 patients have been inconclusive.
Interferon beta-1a is used to treat multiple sclerosis.
Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are very closely related and used to treat malaria and rheumatology conditions respectively. In China and France, small studies provided some indications of possible benefit of chloroquine phosphate against pneumonia caused by COVID-19 but need confirmation through randomized trials.
It is also noted that Remdesivir was one of the trending topics last week for being a possible treatment of COVID-19 over internet.