Indian-American Aruna Subramanian leading trial of remdesivir in Covid-19 treatment

Remdesivir is not yet licensed or approved anywhere globally and has not been demonstrated to be safe or effective for the treatment of the Covid-19.
Drug remdesivir has reached phase three of clinical trial considered to be the final step in the process of the drug approval.(Reuters Photo)
Drug remdesivir has reached phase three of clinical trial considered to be the final step in the process of the drug approval.(Reuters Photo)
Updated on May 01, 2020 11:42 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByHT Correspondent

The third phase of clinical trial of the antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of the coronavirus patients has shown positive results, American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has said. The trial is led by a group of researchers, including Indian-American physician Aruna Subramanian.

It was found that coronavirus patients receiving a 10-day treatment course of remdesivir achieved similar improvement in clinical status when compared to those taking a 5-day treatment course.

“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,” news agency PTI quoted Subramanian as saying, She is the MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, Chief, Immunocompromised Host Infectious Diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine, and one of the lead investigators of the study.

“While additional data are still needed, these results help to bring a clearer understanding of how treatment with remdesivir may be optimised, if proven safe and effective,” Subramanian said.

The California-based pharma company on Wednesday said that the preliminary results showed that 50 per cent of the Covid-19 patients treated with a five-day dosage of remdesivir improved and more than half were discharged from the hospital within two weeks.

The effectiveness of the drug was measured in terms of clinical improvement reported in patients ranging from improvement in breathing, increased level of oxygen support to hospital discharge.

A phase three clinical trial is said to be the final step in the process of the drug approval.

In an earlier interview to Stanford Medicine, Subramanian said that during normal times, a phase three clinical trial typically takes months of planning, after years of research before it is underway.

“But these aren’t normal times. With a fast-moving pandemic bearing down and no approved treatments available, researchers are, like everyone else, desperate for answers, and they have ramped up their efforts to find solutions. Remdesivir jumped to the top of the list of potential treatments in part because it was farthest along in the approval process,” Subramanian said.

A coronavirus infection occurs when the germ enters the body’s airways through the nose, mouth or eyes, then lodges in the cells in the lining of the lung’s airways, where it quickly starts to make millions of copies of itself, wreaking havoc on the lungs.

Remdesivir, like other anti-virals, is designed to target the system the virus uses to replicate, acting as a cap that prevents the virus from making new copies of itself or infecting other cells, she said.

Remdesivir is not yet licensed or approved anywhere globally and has not been demonstrated to be safe or effective for the treatment of the Covid-19.

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Sunday, November 28, 2021