By our reporter|An experimental antiviral drug, remdesivir, has been found to effective for the treatment of COVID-19 in a trial which began in February.
Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company in the US, and manufacturesr of the drug made the disclosure on Wednesday, stating that data from the clinical trial was positive.
Gilead Sciences said it administered the drug on 397 severely ill COVID-19 patients and more than half of them were discharged within two weeks.
According to Aruna Subramanian, a Stanford University infectious diseases professor who led the study, the patients showed improvement after the treatment.
He said, “These data are encouraging as they indicate that patients who received a shorter, 5-day course of remdesivir experienced similar clinical improvement as patients who received a 10-day treatment course.”
The company said it will report the outcome of the first 600 patients in the clinical trial by the end of May.
It added that the clinical trial will also be done in the UK, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Remdesivir was originally developed by the company as a potential treatment for Ebola, but it failed.