WHO: remdesivir shows little effect on COVID-19

By Jenni Spinner

- Last updated on GMT

(Gemini Pro Studio/iStock via Getty Images Plus)
(Gemini Pro Studio/iStock via Getty Images Plus)

Related tags COVID-19 Coronavirus Clinical trials Antivirals World health organization

The agency’s Solidarity Therapeutics Trial examined a range of drugs repurposed for COVID-19 treatment, finding nearly no effect on patient mortality.

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Solidarity Therapeutics Trial kicked off, with the purpose of determining the effectiveness of remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens on treating COVID-19 patients. After six months, researchers sharing interim results of the trial report the drugs have shown little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of COVID-19 among hospitalized patients.

The study, which examined patients in more than 30 countries around the globe, explored the effects of the group of therapies on a range of factors, including overall mortality, introducing ventilation, and duration of hospital stay required for hospitalized patients. Other factors tied to the use of these drugs (including treating non-hospitalized patients and preventing the virus) may be examined in future trials.

According to the agency, one of the positive outcomes of the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial is demonstrating that despite the challenges created by the pandemic (including business shutdowns, safety concerns, travel restrictions and other aspects), large international trials are feasible. Further, according to WHO representatives, trials still exist as a means to quickly and reliably answer important questions about therapeutics.

The full results of the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial are currently under review for publication in a medical journal. The preprinted results can be viewed at bit.ly/2T79L1p.

Who reports the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial is poised to evaluate new treatment options for COVID-19 and other diseases, with nearly 500 hospitals available as potential trial sites; additional antivirals, immunomodulators, and anti-SARS COV-2 monoclonal antibodies are currently being considered.

A WHO representative was unavailable for additional comment.

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