AGENCIES, New York: Various clinical trials on humans have begun on infected coronavirus cases around the world with drug companies, researchers and scientists all working hand in had to find a successful vaccine. Due to the situation, there’s a race to create a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, some researchers are testing new approaches they hope can ultimately produce vaccines in months rather than years. There are at least 92 vaccines under development for COVID-19.
As expected in such experiments, there will be successes and failures. Remdesivir has been projected as the most promising drug and a lot of focus is thus in this particular area.
Remdesivir was applied by US-based Gilead Sciences on a experimental group in China and its results were briefly posted on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO) that was first reported by the Financial Times and Stat, which posted a screenshot.
The report appeared to communicate that the it had failed in its first randomised clinical trial on Thursday. Gilead Sciences, however, disputed how the post had presented their findings, saying the data showed a “potential benefit.” The drugmaker said the findings were inconclusive because the study was terminated early.
In the Chinese trial Remdesivir, given by intravenous infusion, failed to improve patients’ condition or reduce the pathogen’s presence in the bloodstream, according to draft documents published accidentally by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The trial involved 237 patients, with 158 on the drug and 79 in a control group. Remdesivir was stopped early in 18 patients because of side effects.
The study does not represent the final word on the matter, and there are several large-scale trials in advanced stages that should soon provide a clearer picture.
Remdesivir, which is administered intravenously, was among the first drugs suggested as a treatment for the novel coronavirus and as such has great hopes riding on it.
Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, who was not involved in the research, said “the trial was too small in numbers recruited” to detect either benefit or risk.
But he added: “If the drug only works well when given very early after infection, it may be much less useful in practice.”
Scientists say that an antiviral drug like Remdesivir would likely be most effective when administered in early stage of the disease as it is designed to help keep the virus from replicating.