Monthly Archives: April 2020

Remdesivir Antivirus Trial Shows Positive Results

Good news comes from the United States amid the corona virus pandemic which is in most countries around the world.

Treatment of corona virus patients conducted at a hospital in Chicago using remdesivir, an antiviral drug produced by the US biotechnology company, Gilead Sciences Inc. is showing positive results.

At present the hospital is conducting clinical trials on the drug.

The clinical trial was closely monitored to see rapid recovery in fever and respiratory symptoms, with almost all patients discharged in less than a week.

Launching STAT News, remdesivir was one of the first drugs identified as having the potential to impact SARS-CoV-2, a new type of corona virus that causes Covid-19 in laboratory tests.

Gilead clinical trial results are eagerly awaited.

And positive results will likely lead to quick approval by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory and drug regulatory bodies.

If it is safe and effective, it can be an approved treatment for the first time against Covid-19 disease.

The University of Chicago Department of Medicine recruited 125 people with Covid-19 into two Gilead Phase 3 clinical trials.

Of these people, 113 had severe illness. All patients were treated with remdesivir infusion every day.
“The best news is that most of our patients are out, this is good. We only lost (died) two patients, “said Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago who oversees remdesivir research for hospitals.

His comments were delivered this week during a video discussion about the results of the trial with other University of Chicago faculty members.

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The discussion was recorded and STAT News obtained a copy of the video.

The results only show a portrait of the effectiveness of remdesivir.

However, no other clinical data from the Gilead study have been released to date.

Last month, President of the United States, Donald Trump touted the potential of remdesivir as he has for many treatments that have not yet been proven, and said that “it seems (treatment with remdesivir) has very good results.”

In a statement on Thursday, Gilead said: “What we can say at this stage is that we are waiting for data from ongoing studies (to) be available.”

Gilead said they expect results for tests involving severe cases in April.

Mullane said during his presentation that data for the first 400 patients in the study would be “locked” by Gilead on Thursday, meaning that the results could come at any time.

Favipiravir Antiviral Drug Tested in Corona Patients

A number of doctors have now begun testing the drug favipiravir to treat corona virus patients, arguing that the anti-virus efficacy of this drug can be utilized. The flu drug, with the trade name Avigan, was granted a permit in Japan in 2014. Preliminary results indicate that this cold medicine could shorten the recovery time for Covid-19 patients.

China’s ministry of science and technology said the drug showed “very good clinical results”. There are currently five clinical trials in several countries, including in Italy, Japan and the United States. Fujifilm Toyama Chemical said the drug efficacy trials were carried out in groups of 100 patients until the end of June.

Studies in Japan will give the drug for more than 14 days to patients in the age range of 20 to 74 years. “His research will monitor a variety of factors,” Gaetan Burgio, a geneticist at the Australian National University’s College of Health and Medicine, told the AFP news agency.

These include, clinically important effects on fever, coughing, oxygenation, recovery period and hospital stay. Also observed how quickly the virus is cleaned from the system along with x-ray or CT scan for pneumonia.

“If we see a significant reduction in clinical trial results and a lower viral load in the group of patients given favipiravir, this would be a good indication for clinical trials on a larger scale,” said geneticist Burgio.

Strict standard trial

Favipiravir trials to treat corona virus are carried out to a very strict standard. The aim is to ensure that the drug is safe and effective in a large number of patients.

“Smaller studies already have reports. But it is difficult to draw conclusions, because the number of patients is very small, and there is no comparison given a placebo. More often than other drugs,” said Stephen Griffin, a virologist from the University of Leeds, England.

Favipiravir works by blocking the virus to multiply in cells. So far there are still concerns regarding its safety. Because in laboratory tests, this flu drug affects the development of the fetus in the womb. Therefore doctors are advised not to give drugs to pregnant women.

Orders flooded, factories speeding production

The Favipiravir flu drug, with the trade name Avigan, is only permitted in Japan to treat flu outbreaks that cannot be treated with existing medicines. This drug also does not exist in the public market. Favirapir may only be produced and distributed at the request of the Japanese government.

Now the government in Tokyo ordered Fujifilm to boost its production. Both for domestic needs and to meet the demands of more than a dozen countries that have submitted applications for the import of drugs.

It is said, a number of countries in Asia, including Indonesia, have ordered this cold medicine in large doses. Also Germany and the United States have submitted applications to purchase Avigan to the Japanese government.