Although the study had limitations that preclude “definitive conclusions,” the trial’s results “suggest that Remdesivir may have clinical benefit in patients with severe Covid-19,” the report said on Friday.
The report noted that among the patients hospitalized for severe Covid-19 who were treated with compassionate-use Remdesivir, clinical improvement was observed in 36 of 53 patients, or 68 percent. Measurement of efficacy will require ongoing randomized, placebo-controlled trials of Remdesivir therapy,’ the report said
The condition of eight patients, or 15 percent, deteriorated during the trial and seven patients, or 13 percent, died, the report added.
The trial, sponsored by Gilead Sciences, was based data from 22 patients treated in the United States, 22 in Europe or Canada and nine in Japan. All were either placed on ventilators or receiving supplemental oxygen.
The primary limitations of the trial were the lack of a randomized control group and the limited sample size.
Remdesivir is a broad-spectrum anti-viral drug that has been used to treat Ebola, SARS and MERS with few serious adverse side effects, according to the report.
The medication has been publicly touted by US President Donald Trump along with the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for treatment of patients with COVID-19.