According to experts, until there is a substantial vaccine for Coronavirus, Remdesivir is our only hope. Remdesivir is an antiviral medication developed by the American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences. It is a nucleotide analog, specifically an adenosine analog, which inserts into viral RNA chains, causing their premature termination. Remdesivir was originally developed to treat the Ebola virus disease.
While many critics are not against the trail of the drug on Coronavirus patients, they argue that the claim and adoption of the Ebola drug is a ploy by the international community to carry out tests for potential Covid-19 vaccines in Africa. They believe that Remedesivir will be tested on African Covid-19 patients because the drug was first used to treat Ebola in the continent.
Scientists have however called for calm, claiming that conflicting evidence from early trials is the norm in science.
‘Although people prefer their science to be black and white, clinical reality is rarely that definitive. New therapies can fail one key trial and still go on to become a marketed drug.’ AP quoted a source as saying.
Drug discovery and testing, even under normal circumstances, is a high-risk process full of red herrings and dashed hopes. In the throes of a global pandemic, the stakes are even higher and the risks remain the same. So although the news last week that a promising Covid-19 drug failed a major trial was certainly disappointing, it was not surprising.
But whether Remdesivir works or not, there are still all those other possibilities on the horizon. The World Health Organization chose three other potential therapies in addition to Remdesivir back in its solidarity trial, which is supporting patient studies all over the world.
The other three potential therapies are interferon beta-1a, a molecule that our immune system produces; lopinavir, an approved treatment for HIV; and chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, malaria drugs which have caused controversy due to their side-effects.
However, it’s worth noting that lopinavir and the malaria drugs have also failed previous trials for Covid-19.
The world continues to wait eagerly for a cure to Covid-19 and there is already news in many areas celebrating the discovery of Remdesivir as a cure for Covid-19.
Experts have asked the public to remain calm and steer clear of misconceptions, as Remdesivir was only considered to be tested since it worked effectively for the treatment of the Ebola pandemic in Africa.
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Credit: Guardian, CNBC, Politico