What is the best hope of treating a new type of pneumonia in this American “magic drug”? What the hell is going on?

On January 27th, science published a news release suggesting that the ideal treatment for 2019-nCoV is likely to be a combination of a drug called remdesivir (redsivir) and monoclonal antibodies. Remdesivir is thought to be effective for both MERS and new coronaviruses. In a mouse study led by Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina,published in the journal Nature-Communications, the study tested the use of interferon beta-1b with Remdesivir, an experimental drug manufactured by Gilead, USA.

MERS infected mice with this combination performed better, reducing virus replication and improving lung function. This combination may also be used to treat 2019-nCoV.

Mark Denison, a virologist at Vanderbilt University, said: “Remdesivir is active in every coronavirus we tested, and I would be surprised if it is not active for the newly discovered virus. “

Yuan Guoyong, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and a member of the National Health and Health Commission’s high-level expert group, said he agreed that Remdesivir was the most promising drug for 2019-nCoV and MERS.

However, “this drug is not available in China yet.” “

What kind of drug is Remdesivir really, and will it really become a “magic drug” against the new coronavirus?

According to the official website of MCE (MedChem Express):

Remdesivir (GS-5734) is a nucleoside analogue with antiviral activity, with an EC50 value of 74 nM for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV in HAE cells and 30 nM for rat hepatitis virus in delayed brain tumor cells.

Currently, the drug has completed Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of the Ebola virus. However, as a drug under research, it has not been licensed or approved anywhere in the world.

Just a few days ago, a team from the Shanghai Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and the Institute of Immunochemistry of the Shanghai University of Science and Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences screened 30 drugs, active natural products and Chinese medicines that may have therapeutic effects on 2019-nCoV.

Among them is Remdesivir, which is currently hotly debated.

Remdesivir was developed by Gilead Sciences, a leading US biopharmaceutical company.

According to media reports, Remdesivir is closely related to atypical pneumonia coronavirus (SARS-CoV), which is effective against BOTH SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV in both in vitro and animal models.

Gilead is currently actively communicating with researchers and clinicians in the United States and China about an outbreak of the new coronavirus infection in Wuhan and discussing the possibility of treating the disease with Remdesivir, including follow-up plans to work with regulators.

Gilead is committed to providing the drug, where appropriate, for compassionate drug use and controlled clinical trials to support an effective and timely response to global viral infections such as Ebola virus, other fiscoe viruses and viral pathogen infections.

A member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences told the China Science Daily that Remdesivir’s drug safety has been clinically proven and that the drug’s effectiveness in preventing and treating new coronavirus pneumonia is to be discussed.

Although the drug is not currently on the market, emergency use can be considered in exceptional times if confirmed effective. However, due to the difficulty of synthesizing the drug, it is unlikely to be available in large quantities for the time being.

Remdesivir is just one of a number of effective therapeutic drugs being rapidly screened by domestic research institutions.

Related papers: doi:10.1126/science.abb0659