The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that Gilead Sciences Inc’s Remdesivir had little or no effect on COVID-19 patients’ length of hospital stay or chances of survival. The findings were revealed after a clinical trial conducted by the WHO.
Incidentally, Remdesivir was the antiviral medication, to be used as a treatment for COVID-19. It was also administered as one of the drugs to recently treat U.S. President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection.
The findings were part of a study conducted by the world health body called “Solidarity” trial to look into the effects of four potential drugs that included Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, anti-HIV drug combination Lopinavir/Ritonavir and Interferon. The research was conducted on 11,266 adult patients from more than 30 countries.
The study unraveled that the drug 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.
Earlier this month, Gilead also conducted a study in the U.S. and their data showed that treatment with Remdesivir cut COVID-19 recovery time by five days compared with patients who got a placebo in a trial comprising 1,062 patients.
“The emerging (WHO) data appears inconsistent, with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals validating the clinical benefit of Remdesivir,” Gilead told the media.
“We are concerned the data from this open-label global trial has not undergone the rigorous review required to allow for constructive scientific discussion, particularly given the limitations of the trial design.”
On the other hand, WHO scientist Soumya Swaminathan has said: “We’re looking at what’s next. We’re looking at monoclonal anti-bodies, we’re looking at immunomodulators and some of the newer anti-viral drugs that have been developed in the last few months.”
On May 1, Remdesivir received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has since been authorized for use in several countries.