A potential antiviral drug for novel Coronavirus, developed by Gilead Sciences, Remdesivir has reportedly failed in its first randomised clinical trial despite showing positive effects earlier on COVID-19 patients. The medication did not improve Coronavirus patient's condition or reduce the pathogen's presence in the bloodstream during the trial.
It has been a while that researchers and medical experts were hopeful about this drug, which was actually created to treat Ebola but a recent Chinese trial of the experimental drug showed that Remdesivir had not been successful, revealed a draft document mistakenly published by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, the developers Gilead Sciences said the document had mischaracterised the study.
The recent study on Remdesivir
The WHO accidentally posted details about Remdesivir clinical trial and then removed it. Later, the Geneva-based organization claimed that the draft report was mistakenly uploaded, said BBC. As per the leaked report, researchers studied 237 patients, providing the potential Coronavirus medication to 158 and comparing their progress with the remaining 79 trial candidates who received a placebo.
Almost a month later, researchers noticed that 13.9 percent of the patients taking the Remdesivir died compared to 12.8 percent candidates who were receiving placebo and then they stopped the trial due to side effects of the drug. As per the WHO report, it was revealed that "Remdesivir was not associated with clinical or virological benefits."
After failed trial news was released, the developers of Remdesivir, Gilead Sciences disputed the WHO post, stating that it included inappropriate characterisations of the study and it was terminated early due to low enrollment. A spokesperson from Gilead Sciences said, "As such, the study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for Remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in the disease."
Researchers found hope in Remdesivir
Earlier reports among all the drugs claimed to be working against the Coronavirus, Remdesivir was mentioned as the wonder drug which could be the closest to commercial launch. Even in China, Bruce Aylward, a WHO official said, "There's only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy. And that's Remdesivir."
Later in a controversial video conference, obtained by STAT News, it was revealed how the patients are responding to the Remdesivir in the US. An infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago, Dr Kathleen Mullane who is leading the clinical trial said in the video that "the best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We've only had two patients perish."
But soon after the video was leaked, US Congressman called for the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 17, to investigate the video that included a conference between physicians at the University of Chicago who were talking about experimental drug Rremdesivir's positive effect on Coronavirus patients. Texas Democrat Lloyd Doggett, chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee said that the leak was "so significant" at the time when the world is desperately looking for COVID-19 cure.