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Covid-19: Repurposed drugs like Remdesivir ineffective, says WHO’s Solidarity trial

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

Remdesivir’s maker Gilead Sciences has inked alliances with companies including generic drugmakers from India to make and sell the drug in certain markets   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

This will force governments world over to review their treatment strategies

A clutch of repurposed drugs used in treating Covid-19 are not quite effective, says the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Interim results from the trial “indicate that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on 28-day mortality or the in-hospital course of Covid-19 among hospitalised patients,” a note from WHO said.

Govt relook

The findings from the world’s largest randomised control trial on Covid-19 therapeutics will force governments to review their treatment protocols, especially since antiviral drugs like remdesivir are part of it.

In fact, Gilead Sciences has inked alliances with companies including generic drugmakers from India to make and sell the drug in certain markets.

The study, which spans more than 30 countries and 11,266 adults, looked at the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation, and duration of hospital stay in hospitalised patients. Other uses of the drugs, for example in treatment of patients in the community or for prevention, would have to be examined using different trials, the WHO said.

Newer drugs

Newer antiviral drugs, immunomodulators and anti-SARS COV-2 monoclonal antibodies are now being considered for evaluation.

The progress achieved by the Solidarity trial in six months shows that large international trials are possible, even during a pandemic, and offer the promise of quickly and reliably answering critical public health questions concerning therapeutics, the WHO said.

The results of the trial are under review for publication in a medical journal and have been uploaded as a preprint. The global platform of the Solidarity Trial is ready to rapidly evaluate promising new treatment options, with nearly 500 hospitals open as trial sites, it added.

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Published on October 16, 2020
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