Regeneron was recently in the headlines when its antibody therapy was administered to United States President Donald Trump after he was recently diagnosed with COVID-19. Based on reports, the results were positive as the treatment purportedly aided his recovery. This prompted the biotech firm to apply for Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Meanwhile, a final report from a study conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) shares great news about remdesivir.
Produced by Gilead Sciences, the antiviral drug has been the go-to treatment option for those afflicted with COVID-19. Researchers have consistently observed faster recovery in people that were given remdesivir. Coronavirus patients who receive regular care normally recover within 15 days, but those who took the medication reportedly shortened that by about four to five days.
As detailed by the NIH trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine: "We conducted a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous remdesivir in adults who were hospitalized with Covid-19 and had evidence of lower respiratory tract infection."
The statement continued: "Patients were randomly assigned to receive either remdesivir (200 mg loading dose on day 1, followed by 100 mg daily for up to 9 additional days) or placebo for up to 10 days. The primary outcome was the time to recovery, defined by either discharge from the hospital or hospitalisation for infection-control purposes only."
In May, Gilead Sciences was granted the EUA by the FDA to only use remdesivir on COVID-19 patients who exhibited severe symptoms brought about by the 2019 novel coronavirus. After healthcare experts reported favourable results, the regulators eventually allowed it to be given to all hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Since then, the only other treatment that apparently had a promising effect is Regeneron's antibody cocktail, which is still waiting for government approval.
Meanwhile, several COVID-19 vaccine candidates are already in the final phases of their respective clinical studies. So far, none have been flagged for dangerous side effects. Moreover, the jabs also prompted the desired immune response that could potentially inhibit transmissions and finally control the pandemic. However, analysts believe doses will not be widely available until early 2021.