NEW DELHI: Therapeutic remdesivir treatment initiated early during infection had a clinical benefit in SARS-CoV-2-infected rhesus macaques, said an article published in the Nature.
The article ‘Clinical benefit of remdesivir in rhesus macaques infected with SARS-CoV-2’ said although the rhesus macaque model does not represent the severe disease observed in a proportion of Covid-19 patients and the data support early remdesivir treatment initiation in Covid-19 patients to prevent progression to pneumonia. In vitro remdesivir, US pharma Gilead’s patent, inhibited replication of SARS-CoV-2.
“Here, we investigated the efficacy of remdesivir treatment in a rhesus macaque model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast to vehicle-treated animals, animals treated with remdesivir did not show signs of respiratory disease and had reduced pulmonary infiltrates on radiographs and reduced virus titers in bronchoalveolar lavages 12hrs after the first treatment administration,” according to authors.
“At necropsy, lung viral loads of remdesivir-treated animals were lower and there was a reduction in lung damage. Effective therapeutics to treat Covid-19 are urgently needed. While many investigational, approved, and repurposed drugs have been suggested, preclinical data from animal models can guide the search for effective treatments by ruling out treatments without in vivo efficacy,” it added.
Gilead Sciences, last week, had announced that the DCGI has granted regulatory approval of Remdesivir for treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed coronavirus disease in adults and children hospitalised with severe disease.
What is Remdesivir
Remdesivir is a nucleotide analog prodrug with broad antiviral activity, that is currently investigated in Covid-19 clinical trials and received 'Emergency Use Authorization' from the US Food and Drug Administration. In animal models, remdesivir treatment was effective against MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV infection.