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The increasing rise in COVID-19 cases may further stir a boost in the demand for Remdesivir despite the WHO claims.
The result of a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Remdesivir has indicated that the notorious COVID-19 drug may not be as effective in reducing mortality rates amongst infected and hospitalized patients. As reported by CNBC, the WHO sanctioned research on Remdesivir which came barely a week after Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: GILD) published the result of its own study on Remdesivir.
From the two results published, there appear to be conflicting claims on the effect of the Remdesivir drug whose demand has skyrocketed since it was granted the authorization to be used as an emergency drug for the treatment of COVID-19 patients on claims that it brought rapid recovery. The WHO study, however, reported that Remdesivir shows little or no effect in reducing either the mortality rate or the total duration patients stay in the hospital for.
The WHO research is a randomized study in which 11,266 patients spread across 30 nations in about 405 hospitals were drafted. A total of 2750 patients were tested with the drug.
The researchers said:
“These Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir and Interferon regimens appeared to have little or no effect on hospitalized COVID-19, as indicated by overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay. The mortality findings contain most of the randomized evidence on Remdesivir and Interferon, and are consistent with meta-analyses of mortality in all major trials.”
While the two claims appear to counter each other, the CNBC report noted that the WHO research has not yet been peered reviewed while that from Gilead itself has passed through a peer review. The implication of this is that the claims of Gilead sciences based on the potency of the Remdesivir treatment for COVID-19 has been independently evaluated by experts in the field.
Remdesivir Demand May Peak Despite WHO Research Claims
The increasing rise in COVID-19 cases may further stir a boost in the demand for Remdesivir despite the WHO claims. The use of the drug has gained massive support from world governments including the European Union who signed a 63 million euros ($73.99 million) deal with Gilead Sciences back in July for the supply of the drug to treat about 30,000 patients.
Remdesivir is one of the treatment regimes President Donald Trump was placed on after contracting the coronavirus barely two weeks ago. While the president has recovered, the general expectation to alleviate the coronavirus concerns is the approval of at least one functional vaccine.
On the vaccine progress, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, the board chair of the Vaccine Alliance, known as GAVI, said on Thursday that the current progress in work being done by pharmaceutical firms working on a coronavirus vaccine has given hopes that the vaccine may be ready between the Q1 and the middle of next year.