Remdesivir useless in covid fight: WHO1 min read . Updated: 17 Oct 2020, 06:01 AM IST
While hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir-ritonavir combo have been shown to be ineffective in earlier trials, the results for remdesivir are surprising.
A World Health Organization (WHO) trial of Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir, the antiviral drug used to treat US President Donald Trump, showed little or no effect on the survival rates of covid patients, a result that is in variance with the trial reports of the drugmaker.
The WHO trial, which also studied the effect of hydroxychloroquine, a combination of HIV drugs lopinavir and ritonavir, as well as a combination of lopinavir and interferon, showed that none of the drugs showed any effect on the length of hospital stay or the mortality rate of those infec-ted, showed the study, which is yet to be peer-reviewed.
“These remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalized covid-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay," according to the trial results.
While hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir-ritonavir combo have been shown to be ineffective in earlier trials, the results for remdesivir are surprising, especially as Gilead’s and US’ National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) trials have shown that it significantly reduced the time to recovery in adults who were hospitalized with covid and had evidence of lower respiratory tract infection.
The final results of NIAID’s Adaptive Covid-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT-) 1 were published in The New England Journal of Medicine earlier this month.
“The emerging data appear inconsistent with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies published in peer-reviewed journals validating the clinical benefit of Veklury (remdesivir). We are concerned that the data from this open-label global trial have not undergone the rigorous review required to allow for constructive scientific discussion, particularly given the limitations of the trial design," drugmaker Gilead said in a statement on Friday.
The WHO trial was an open-label trial, in which 11,266 adults from 30 countries were randomized, with 2,750 allocated remdesivir, 954 hydroxychloroquine, 1,411 lopinavir, 651 interferon and lopinavir, 1,412 only interferon, and 4,088 no study drug.
On the other hand, the ACTT-1 trial was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, which is considered the gold standard for clinical trials of drugs.
In India, Gilead has a licensing pact with Hetero Drugs, Cipla, Zydus Cadila, Mylan, Jubilant Life Sciences, Dr Reddy’s Labs and Syngene International for remdesivir.