Remdesivir was first developed by Gilead Pharmaceuticals and studied for treating Ebola infections. Since then, studies in the laboratory showed that it had potent activity against Sars-2 coronavirus. Remdesivir can block viral replication because it prevents the virus from making copies of itself. So now the big question is whether these observations in the lab translate into patient benefits in the clinic. We are starting to get some results that may help answer that question.
In a study published April 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine, hospitalized patients requiring some oxygen support or assisted breathing (ventilator-assisted) were given 10 days of Remdesivir intravenously. Overall, two-thirds (36/53) of the study participants improved whereas 15% (8/53) got worse. By the date of last follow-up 47% of subjects had been discharged.