A US-led clinical trial of a candidate treatment for Covid-19 has been shown to speed up recovery.
Remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences, was developed as a broad-acting antiviral drug, and proved successful in treating Ebola during clinical trials - see the EARA article about it here.
Animal studies were key to remdesivir’s development, first showing its potential in blocking Ebola infection in monkeys.
It has since been shown to be an effective treatment of several coronaviruses in both monkeys and transgenic mice, including SARSCoV-2, the coronavirus causing Covid-19, where the treated monkeys had no severe breathing difficulties whereas all those untreated did.
The preliminary results of the clinical trials showed Covid-19 patients receiving remdesivir, recoveried 31% faster.
“Although a 31% improvement doesn’t seem like a knockout, 100% [success], it is a very important proof of concept,” said Anthony Fauci (pictured with President Trump), head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which sponsored the trial.