Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) said it has found that Remdesivir, the antiviral drug which has been approved for COVID-19 treatment in several countries, has little or no effect in reducing chances of survival or hospital stay in COVID-19 patients. There were reports that the US President Donald Trump recently used this drug for coronavirus treatment.
WHO's solidarity trial conducted on 11266 adult patients in more than 30 countries to evaluate the effects of antidotes such as hydroxychloroquine(anti-malarial drug), lopinavir/ritonavir (anti-HIV combination) and interferon along with remdesivir. The study found the regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the length of the in-hospital course among patients hospitalized with COVID-19, remarked WHO on Thursday.
During the study, hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir were proved ineffective and discontinued on June, says WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Wednesday.
Remdesivir holds emergency usage approval officially from US Foods and Drug Administration.
Remdesivir was developed by Gilead Sciences, an American biotechnological company as the treatment for Ebola in 2014. Later used in treating MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Accused Respiratory Syndrome) viruses. Remdesivir was approved for COVID-19 on the assumption that it could apply the antiviral properties in the drug against SARS-COV2 for better results.
(Reported by Farha Zulthana)