The study says that Remedisvir is not effective against COVID-19; Bay Area Scientists Disagree


Scientists and physicians from the Bay Area were troubled on Friday by a World Health Organization study that claims the antiviral drug Remedivir does not appear to help hospitalized coronovirus patients.

In the study, a number of drug trials comprising 11,000 coronovirus patients in 30 countries were compiled, a drug made by Gilead Sciences of Foster City that has “little or no effect on mortality” and does not accelerate recovery Might be possible. No reduction in either category was found in mortality, ventilator support and duration of hospitalization by taking Remedisvir.

It is a worryingly clear picture that the drug is now routinely prescribed by doctors in the US under an Emergency Use Authority from the US Food and Drug Administration.

But infectious disease experts familiar with remedisivir criticized the WHO study, which has not been peer reviewed. They say it was much less rigorous than previous studies showing hospitalized coronovirus patients who received remedisvir, who recovered about a third faster than patients who did not receive the medication.

A professor of medicine and infectious diseases at UCSF, Drs. Peter Chin-Hong stated that no one claimed that Remedisvir reduces mortality in the first place, so it is not even an issue.

Chin-Hong said, “Tell me something new because no one has shown the benefit of mortality with Remedisvir.” “Previous studies have shown less time to recover, so people become increasingly better. I think it was on the order of 4 or 5 days, and it is very important. ”

Remedsvir is an antiviral drug developed by Gilead for the treatment of Ebola. It is believed to interfere with the process through which the coronavirus repeats itself. The previous study, led by the National Institutes of Health, was a double blind study, which was the gold standard in research, and found that patients receiving Remedisvir recovered faster than patients receiving placebo.

The Guild’s executive, who calls its remediesvir drug Weakleri, also questioned the WHO study, stating that three randomized, controlled clinical trials, including a National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease Study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine .

“Emerging data appears inconsistent with a number of randomized evidence, stronger evidence than studies published in peer-reviewed journals,” said Gilead, who is studying an unqualified form of the drug currently given intravenously has gone. “It is unclear whether any conclusive conclusions can be drawn from the study results.”

The WHO study was not a blind study – the patients knew what they were getting – but it included many more patients than other studies, including the head of infectious disease and vaccinology at UC Berkeley School, Dr. According to Lee Riley. Of public health. The results, however, were preliminary, daring, he said.

“I think it creates some skepticism about the results of the initial study”, on Remedsvir, Riley said. “So really, we’re back on the drawing board. I think what we need to do now is really understand how this disease works and develop a drug for this coronovirus. ”

President Trump was recently treated with remedisavir after testing positive for SARS-COV-2, the specific coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

In addition to the WSO study, the WHO study also casts doubt on two other repurchase treatments, including hydroxychloroquine, which were found to be ineffective despite being avoided by President Trump in other studies. According to the study, neither those treatments nor the lopinavir and HIV combination of ritonavir and interferon helped coronovirus patients survive longer.

The result is unlikely to affect a UCSF study of Remedisvir combined with interferon, an anti-inflammatory that is used for people with multiple sclerosis. This is one of the trials sponsored by the NIH looking for a medicinal cocktail, the treatment similar to the combination of HIV-AIDS patients who now use it to control infection.

“We are using more than one drug, a secret sauce that actually optimizes healing,” said Chin-Hong. $ 3,000 for a five- or 10-day course.

Chin-Hong said that deaths from coronovirus have already reduced significantly as hospitals are less congested, have better care and have other effective treatments such as steroids dexamethasone, another medication the president was given.

Remedisvir is not a magic bullet. It is a reality, but there is a place in medicine for this, ”he said. “If my grandmother comes with COVID, I would definitely like to give her a remadewire.”

Gilead stock, which several times reacted strongly to growth this year with Remedisvir, fell 1.5% on Friday to close the day at $ 62.

Peter Fimrite is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @pfimrite