The world is in a rush to find a coronavirus cure as it continues to wreak havoc and cause mass panic and fear with over 170,000 cases, and 6,500 confirmed coronavirus-related deaths worldwide.But perhaps, we don't have to look further.
Remdesivir Helped Save "Critically Ill" Patient
In a report by Science Mag, a Californian woman was allegedly saved by an experimental drug known as Remdesivir when the University of California Davis Medical Center doctors secured compassionate use permission from the FDA, meaning an experimental drug is used outside of a clinical trial.
In an interview, infectious disease specialist from UC Davis Medical Center, George Thompson, revealed that the patient was in the severe stages of COVID-19 when Remdesivir was given through an intravenous drip.
"We thought they were going to pass away," Thompson said.
Remdesivir was administered 36 hours after the patient was diagnosed with the novel coronavirus disease, who was the first case of "community spread," as she did not have any travel history to locations with confirmed coronavirus cases.
For security and privacy purposes, Thompson did not disclose whether the patient was discharged or not, only that "they were doing well."
More Positive Feedback Regarding Remdesivir
Besides the Californian patient, Remdesivir has also reportedly helped 14 more American patients diagnosed with COVID-19 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, assistant surgeon and lung specialist from the National Institutes of Health, Richard Childs, confirmed that the patients had been treated with the experimental drug in Japan.
As per Childs, the patients were "critically ill, and their average age is 75."
Childs also said that most of them were in such bad condition that they thought they were going to die in a short amount of time, but after two weeks, no one has passed away, and more than half of the patients have already recovered.
Requires Further Testing
Although Remdesivir had such positive feedback from both specialists, they conceded that the drug requires more testing.
Thompson believes that the experimental drug could cause liver toxicity for some patients, while Childs has admitted it can take a while for them to confirm the effects of the drug.
The Guardian also reported that Remdesivir is currently being used in Italy and China on a compassionate basis to help treat a small number of patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
As of now, the drug is under evaluation in multiple trials, which has already begun in China.
Where Did Remdesivir Come From?
But, where did Remdesivir come from, and how does it combat viruses?
According to STAT, Remdesivir was based on a molecule that was only known as 3a and was created by Gilead Science, who have long been experimenting on its effect on different viruses, including SARS and MERS, which were types of coronaviruses.
The experimental drug was also previously used to treat Ebola, although it did not have the desired effect.
Now, the experimental drug is given a second chance in a desperate attempt by different specialists to find a cure for the coronavirus disease.
Could it be the savior we've all been waiting for?