Dr. Fauci Shares 'Positive' Results from New Trial on the Drug Remdesivir

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Posted: Apr 29, 2020 2:00 PM
Dr. Fauci Shares 'Positive' Results from New Trial on the Drug Remdesivir

Source: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

Ready for some good news? A new study on the potential COVID-19 treatment drug remdesivir from Gilead Sciences Inc has yielded some "significant positive effects" among infected individuals. The international study, described as a randomized placebo control trial and sponsored by The National Allergy Institute of Infectious Diseases, began on February 21.

“[The study data] shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery;” National Allergy Institute of Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci revealed at the White House on Wednesday.

The primary result, Dr. Fauci explained, was the 31 percent improvement in recovery time, as some patients on the drug recovered a few days ahead of schedule.

In addition, the mortality rate "trended towards being better" at 8 percent versus 11 percent, the doctor added.

While Fauci said these improvements seem a bit modest, it proves a few "important" things. The trial has proven that a drug can block this virus. In particular, it appears to be blocking an enzyme that the virus uses. Fauci called it "positive news." 

Wednesday's development reminded Dr. Fauci of the period during the AIDS epidemic in 1986 when medical professionals were struggling to find a drug treatment. They started with AZT, which produced only modest effects. But they "kept building" on it every year until they developed a more effective treatment, the doctor recalled. Dr. Deborah Birx, who was also on the frontlines in the fights against AIDS, nodded as Fauci made the comparison.

Dr. Fauci and his team will be immediately putting this new research to work. The next step, he explained, is to compare the combination of remdesivir with an anti-inflammatory drug they're also testing.

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