Remdesivir, a drug that was used to treat Ebola, has shown some ability to help fight the novel coronavirus COVID-19. According to a series of tests by Gilead Sciences, which caps the drug, remdesivir has shown that it can help speed up recovery in patients who are diagnosed with COVID-19.
After the positive series of tests, Gilead Sciences has vowed to increase its production and supply of the drug.
“All of us at Gilead are humbled by what these promising results might mean for patients,” O’Day said in a statement. “After years of research and hard work on remdesivir, there is relief and gratitude among our teams today that their efforts have been so worthwhile. We are working to build a global consortium of pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturers to expand global capacity and production.
“It will be essential for countries to work together to create enough supply for people all over the world and we look forward to these collaborative efforts,” he said, aiming to also bring the drug “to the developing world.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci said during on appearance on the Today show that the drug could soon receive FDA approval.
“I would project that we’re going to be seeing that reasonably soon,” Fauci said of the FDA approval. “Although the results were clearly positive from a statistically significant standpoint, they were modest — the improvement was 31% better chance of recovering and getting out of the hospital.
“That’s important, but it’s the first step in what we project will be better and better drugs coming along. So it’s good news, but … this is not the total answer by any means.”
“This is not the total answer by any means, but it’s a very important first step,” Dr. Anthony Fauci tells @savannahguthrie about remdesivir, a potential breakthrough antiviral drug in the battle against coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/rH17ZBwC9X
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 30, 2020
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in the United States and China — with more than 61,000 deaths in the United States — it has now reached many countries around the world. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.