BETHESDA, Md. — The antiviral medication remdesivir is a “superior” option for COVID-19 patients in comparison to more traditional or standard treatment protocols, according to a peer-reviewed investigation into the drug’s effectiveness against COVID-19.
These conclusions were drawn using data collected by the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), and the study was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a sub-division of the National Institutes of Health.
Among hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients exhibiting moderate to severe respiratory symptoms, remdesivir was found to be the most effective and beneficial treatment option for patients dealing with severe symptoms requiring supplemental oxygen or a respirator.
Other COVID-19 patient subgroups were also examined, but those findings weren’t nearly as conclusive.
Beginning on February 21st, the research included 1,059 participants spread across 10 countries over the course of 58 days. Each person agreed to take part in the remdesivir research, and was then randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first group (538 people) received standard care and a 10-day dosage of intravenous remdesivir, while the second group (521) was given standard care and a placebo.
By April 27th, the study’s preliminary findings were presented to the NIAID.
According to those results, patients given remdesivir recovered at a quicker pace than those given the placebo. For the purposes of the study, “recovered” was defined as being released by the hospital. For remdesivir patients, the average adult recovered in 11 days, but it took the average placebo patient 15 days to recover.
Each patient’s health was tracked on a daily basis according to an eight-point scale (ranging from 100% healthy to deceased). Patients were also directly compared after 15 days of receiving both treatments, and again, the remdesivir patients showed higher odds of improvement, according to the eight-point scale.
Patients given remdesivir also had a better chance of survival. While remdesivir patients had a 7.1% mortality rate over 14 days, the placebo group saw a 11.9% mortality rate.
All in all, this research indicates that remdesivir is a preferable treatment option for hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving oxygen support. That being said, the study’s authors say that the drug’s 7.1% mortality rate suggests remdesivir treatments still require more refinement in order to attain the best results for patients.
The study is published in The New England Journal of Medicine.