Hopes that the experimental drug remdesivir could cure patients of coronavirus were raised after a 79-year-old Italian man who had tested positive was given the all-clear following treatment.
The broad-spectrum antiviral was developed by US drug firm Gilead for Ebola and was used to treat the Scottish nurse Pauline Cafferkey when she suffered a relapse 18 months after being cleared of the disease which she contracted while volunteering in Sierra Leone.
Currently remdesivir is being tested in five Covid-19 clinical trials including by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) on 13 patients hospitalised after contracting coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.
The first person to test positive with the virus in the US was also treated with drug and has since fully recovered.
A case report in the New England Journal of Medicine said the man began to feel better within one day of being treated with intravenous remdesivir.
On Tuesday evening, the President of Italy’s Liguria region Giovanni Toti said the area had seen ‘the first real case of coronavirus cured’, a 79-year-old man who was treated with remdesivir. He is due to return to his home in Lombardy soon.
Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization said last month: “There’s only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy. And that’s remdesivir.”
Drug maker Gilead, which distributed the drug on a compassionate use basis to several hundred patients globally, expects to start its own late-stage trials this month.
Remdesivir has so far been proven to inhibit the related virus Mers-CoV – the cause of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in animal models. However a study out last week on three US patients showed mixed results.
There are currently no approved therapies for coronavirus, but many countries have been repurposing anti-virals in the the hope they might work against the infection.
Then lets get cracking treat all Coronavirus victims with this stuff don’t wait for idiotic FDA regulations
This WILL be defeated.
@Deplorable Me: Definitely. Also, remember that there are people in their 80’s who get it, and still recover…without any of these drugs. It’s not a death sentence just because your old or have risk factors.
All very promising, though…I hope they develop this further.
The virus has already mutated two 2 types, the drug may only work on one of those mutations. I am hoping for the older malaria drug as its long term effects are known.
No one wants a drug rushed to market that will do long term or permanent harm.
One 79 year old patient just isnt a good sampling.