What is remdesivir, and can it help stop the spread of coronavirus?

Henrietta Brewer
May 29, 2020

The researchers also said that "given high mortality despite the use of remdesivir", it is likely that the drug would be more effective in combination with other treatments for Covid-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. Remdesivir is considered a breakthrough in the treatment of coronavirus.

After successfully demonstrating it can reduce the time COVID-19 patients spend in hospitals in the first phase, the drug will now be paired with an anti-inflammatory pill called baricitinib.

Governor Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is distributing three additional cases of the antiviral drug remdesivir to three hospitals across the Bryan-College Station area.


The findings on remdesivir have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. But Marty said that it provides additional data backing up a separate study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which in preliminary results found that patients who received remdesivir spent four fewer days in the hospital than those who didn't get the medication.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization of remdesivir, meaning physicians can prescribe the drug to patients outside clinical trials if they feel it will benefit their patients.

"We do have a supply here at Hershey", Paules said.


"If we can minimize the inflammation, and minimize the viral replication at the same time, we could further increase the clinical benefits of the patient", Dr. Andre Kalil, a principle investigator for the trial at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, told NBC News.

Baricitinib, like any drug, has side effects that could be worrisome.

"This makes it crucial to decipher the best timing of treatment", he said.


Remdesivir is now part of clinical trials worldwide, including in the United Kingdom, with current data showing that it can shorten recovery time by approximately four days.

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