Gilead’s experimental Ebola drug being tested in patients infected with coronavirus

pharmafile | February 3, 2020 | News story | Sales and Marketing Coronavirus Wuhan, MERS, Sars, Wuhan, coronavirus, coronavirus China 

China and the US are testing Gilead’s remdesivir in patients with the coronavirus, in the hopes of developing an effective treatment for a disease that does not yet have a vaccine.

This new anti-viral drug had been created with an aim to treat Ebola and SARS. It is being studied by a medical team at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing for efficacy in treating the coronavirus. It has been giving to a small number of patients with the disease.

Now a randomized trial is being established to test the drug against people who are not infected. Chief Medical Officer at Gilead, Merdad Parsey, said: “While there are no antiviral data for remdesivir that show activity against 2019-nCoV at this time, available data in other coronaviruses give us hope.”

A patient in the US also received this drug treatment. He is a 35-year-old man who developed pneumonia after contracting the coronavirus and has been hospitalised at the Providence Regional Medical Center Everett in Washington State. The doctors reported that on 26 January his condition seemed to improve within a day, and by 30 January it had resolved most of the symptoms except a cough.

Chief Medical Officer at Center, Jay Cook, said: “We felt the benefits of using this drug outweighed whatever potential risk there might be and we obtained his informed consent.”

The drug had been dropped from clinical trial last year, where it had been tested as an Ebola treatment. It was found to be ineffective compared to some of the others being tested. It has not been approved by any country’s regulatory body.

Conor Kavanagh

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