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Home >Science >Health >WHO trial to assess other antibody, antiviral drugs after remdesivir doubt

The World Health Organization said on Friday it would assess monoclonal antibodies and other antiviral drugs in its trial of medicines that could potentially treat COVID-19, after the trial found Gilead's remdesivir had no impact on survival rates.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference the so-called Solidarity Trial would continue after it was launched in March in 500 hospitals in 30 countries to assess the efficacy of remdesivir and several other drugs in patients with COVID-19.

The European Union should renegotiate a 1 billion euro ($1.17 billion) contract it sealed last week with Gilead for a six-month supply of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir after it showed poor results in a large trial, experts said on Friday.

In a blow to one of the few drugs being used to treat people with COVID-19, the Solidarity Trial conducted by the World Health Organization showed on Friday that remdesivir appeared to have little or no effect on mortality or length of hospital stays among patients with the respiratory disease.

The trial results were disclosed a week after the EU's executive Commission announced its largest contract to date with Gilead for the supply of 500,000 courses of the antiviral drug at a price of 2,070 euro per treatment, which Gilead said was the standard for wealthy nations.

The Commission "needs to present the reasons behind the rush to conclude the latest contract with Gilead and move to review it in light of the Solidarity Trial findings," said Yannis Natsis, who represents patients' organisations on the board of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU drug regulator.

The EU announced on Oct. 8 that it had signed the supply contract with the US company on behalf of its 27 member states and 10 partner countries, including Britain.

Gilead had known about the results of Solidarity since Oct. 6, the WHO said, citing disclosure rules under the Solidarity Trial.

Gilead told Reuters it had received in late September an "heavily redacted manuscript" from the WHO which contained different information from the final document published on Friday.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.

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