Remdesivir cuts COVID-19 recovery time by 5 days, final study data says

Remdesivir shortened COVID-19 patient recovery time by five days, according to final data from a phase 3 trial published Oct. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

The drug was tested in adults hospitalized with mild, moderate or severe COVID-19. It was shown to shorten recovery time by five days, an improvement over preliminary study results showing it shortened recovery by four days. 

The drug worked best in patients on supplemental oxygen, shortening their recovery time by seven days compared to those on a placebo. 

Patients taking remdesivir were 50 percent more likely to have improved by day 15 of their illness compared to those on a placebo, the data showed. 

“We now have data suggesting that giving remdesivir to patients on oxygen may significantly reduce their chances of death as compared to other subgroups. These data provide clinicians with important information to help optimize patient care,” said Andre Kalil, MD, a professor of internal medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. 

Gilead said the rate of serious adverse events was higher in the placebo group than the remdesivir group. The trial studied a 10-day course of treatment and was conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. 

Read Gilead’s full news release here.

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