The first u.S. patient to be diagnosed with the new coronavirus has been treated with an experimental drug, Remdesivir, at a Washington state hospital as part of its treatment,media Outlet The Verge reported. After a day of taking the drug, the patient begins to improve. Four days later, his fever symptoms disappeared.
Although a case study is not enough to prove anything, it is unclear whether the drug, called Remdesivir, actually helps the patient, or whether his improvement is a coincidence. However, this is one of several drugs that doctors believe may be helpful for patients with the new coronavirus, including a combination of anti-HIV drugs.
Remdesivir was developed by pharmaceutical company Gilead to treat the Ebola virus. It is a broad-spectrum antiviral drug that blocks the activity of a protein that helps the coronavirus replicate itself. The team identified the drug as a potential candidate for the treatment of coronavirus after the 2012 MERS outbreak, when another new coronavirus spread in the Middle East. In cell models, it blocks the activity of MERS, SARS (2002 coronavirus) and other coronaviruses found in bats.
Tests on the new coronavirus have shown that Remdesivir can also block its activity, at least in the laboratory. The results, combined with positive results in patients in Washington, D.C., were enough to enable Gilead to conduct a larger clinical trial of the drug in patients with the new coronavirus. The company will test 270 patients at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, one of which will be given the drug and the other will be given a placebo.
The drug has not yet been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other regulatory agency. However, it passed safety tests during the 2014 and 2015 Ebola outbreaks. That’s why Gilead is able to test patients immediately. “The drug is already used in humans for the Ebola virus,” said Florian Krammer, a professor and vaccine development expert at mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine. Even if it doesn’t do much, it’s safe. “
In addition, another clinical trial combining two anti-HIV drugs is also being conducted in a Chinese hospital. Chinese experts recommend the use of the drugs lopinavir and litonavir for patients with coronavirus. According to Thai doctors, they also helped some people with coronavirus in Thailand – including a 70-year-old woman.
“It’s not a cure, but the patient’s condition has improved dramatically. The test results tested positive in the first 10 days of treatment and turned negative within 48 hours of using the drug combination,” Dr Kriangsak Atipornwanich, a pulmonologist at Rajavithi Hospital in Bangkok, told Reuters.
The combination of Lopinavir and Litonavir was effective for a small number of SARS patients as early as 2002 and 2003, and blocked merS virus in animal studies.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stressed the importance of these studies at a news conference last week. Researchers don’t start from scratch because over the past two decades of work has tested drugs in cells, animals and individual patients. Now, professional researchers working on this work face the most pressing question: whether drugs really work in the human body. “There is no proven treatment for coronavirus infection,” Says Fauci. “