According to a BBC report, the UK has authorized the use of the anti-viral drug Remdesivir in treating patients with the novel coronavirus as experts have discovered that the drug could shorten the recovery time of infected individuals.
At last a breakthrough! Looking forward to discussing use of #REMDESIVIR against #COVID__19 with @mrdanwalker & #louiseminchin on @BBCBreakfast. 8.10 today, Thursday pic.twitter.com/Z0yp5oeoRU — Tom Solomon (@RunningMadProf) May 27, 2020
Matt Hancock, UK health secretary, said that the newly discovered capability of Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug that has been used to treat Ebola, is currently the biggest step forward in the treatment of COVID-19 since the pandemic began. UK regulators confirmed that there is enough evidence to show the efficacy of Remdesivir against the coronavirus for them to allow its use in selected COVID-19 hospital patients.
The UK stated that the anti-viral drug will be provided to the hospitals that need it the most since supplies of Remdesivir are currently limited. The COVID-19 drug is still undergoing clinical trials in medical facilities across the globe, including in the UK.
Coronavirus could possibly be cured by a combination of 3 drugs; Remdesivir can shorten COVID-19 recovery time by four days
According to BBC, experts found the early results of Remdesivir studies suggesting that it can shorten the recovery time of the people infected by the novel coronavirus by about four days. Still, there is no strong evidence showing that the anti-viral drug can save more lives.
Presently, #Remdesivir is not approved in #Canada & access to it is limited to #ClinicalTrials. 4 randomized controlled trials were identified in the review; yet, due to insufficient published evidence, potential place in therapy of remdesivir is unknown. https://t.co/ZUfClsQocn pic.twitter.com/dZrl2pMBfB — CADTH (@CADTH_ACMTS) May 20, 2020
Dr. Stephen Griffin, a medical expert from the University of Leeds Medical School, said that Remdesivir is currently the most promising anti-viral for coronavirus among the drug candidates including those that are used to treat HIV and malaria.
"Whilst this is clearly the most ethically sound approach, it also means that we ought not to expect the drug to immediately act as a magic bullet," said Dr. Griffin. He also clarified that the patients with the most severe medical conditions will receive the anti-viral drug first.
"We can instead hope for improved recovery rates and a reduction in patient mortality, which we hope will benefit as many patients as possible," he added.
Meanwhile, experts have also suggested that a combination of three antiviral drugs can cure the novel coronavirus. According to another report of BBC News, the combination that the experts are looking at includes an immune-suppressing drug, anti-inflammatory drug, and an antiviral drug.
One of the antivirals currently tested in clinical trials can prevent the coronavirus from attaching to the linings of the lungs, while Remdesivir can stop COVID-19 particles from multiplying within the body. The overreaction of the immune system for the virus can be prevented by immune-suppressing drugs.
Prof. John Wright, a doctor and epidemiologist and the head of the Bradford Institute for Health Research, stated that a single drug is unlikely to cure COVID-19. He said that they have beaten TB and HIV through a combination of antibiotics and antiretrovirals, expecting that the novel coronavirus can only be cured with the same method.