• Jennifer McCrackin

5 Facts We Know About Remdesivir, the Possible Coronavirus Cure


There has been a serious dearth of good and encouraging news surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. But newly released results from clinical trials of a possible coronavirus cure called remdesivir might just be the good news we've been looking for. Remdesivir is an anti-viral drug produced by American biotech company Gilead and it's recently entered phase 3 of clinical trials. The University of Chicago Medical Center reportedly treated 125 people with COVID-19 with remdesivir, 113 of whom had severe cases—and the results have been very promising. Kathleen Mullane, DO, the University of Chicago infectious disease specialist overseeing the Remdesivir studies for the hospital, told StatNews, "The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We've only had two patients perish." Want to know more about this potential coronavirus drug? Here's what we know about Remdesivir so far. 1

Remdesivir is produced by well-established biotech company Gilead. Remdesivir was developed by Gilead, an American biotechnology company founded in 1987 that specializes in the research, development, and commercialization of antiviral drugs. The company has successfully developed effective treatments used to battle or maintain the health of those with HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and influenza. 2

Clinical trials of Remdesivir began two months ago. In an open letter on the company website on Apr. 10, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day wrote: "It has been only two months since the first clinical trials began. Given that it can take a year or more to have the first clinical data for an investigational treatment, it is remarkable that we expect to have the first remdesivir trial data so soon." 3

And there are seven remdesivir trials going on right now to expedite testing. O'Day added that "seven clinical trials have been initiated to determine whether Remdesivir is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. " 4

Remdesivir was first created to treat the Ebola virus. Gilead initially created remdesivir as a treatment for the West African outbreak of the Ebola virus. But clinical trials revealed that remdesivir was not nearly as effective as other drugs, and it was eventually dropped as an Ebola therapy. And for more on other pandemics, check out How Does Coronavirus Stack Up Compared to Other Pandemics? 5

Remdesivir is still in an experimental stage and not approved yet globally for use. While the news about remdesivir is very encouraging, it is still very early in a traditionally complicated process. The recovery rate suggested by the University of Chicago will surely hasten the development and approval process given the dire state of this global pandemic, but we are not close to it being available outside of approved clinical tests.



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