Early data suggests experimental drug shows promising results in seriously ill COVID-19 patients

Posted at 4:34 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 19:34:18-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Early data suggests that the experimental drug remdesivir is showing promising signs in treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

But, experts say it's just too early to know if this is the answer doctors have been searching for.

Remdesivir has not yet been approved anywhere in the world and has not been proven to be an effective treatment for COVID-19, according to Gilead Sciences, the company that creates the drug.

However, experimental clinic trials are currently underway to determine the safety and efficacy of remdesivir on COVID-19 patients. UCSD Health is involved in the current clinic trials.

According to healthcare publisher Stat News early data reveals patients who were severely ill from the coronavirus, have responded well to the treatment.

Doctors at the University of Chicago Medicine are seeing promising results in clinical trials.

More than 100 COVID-19 patients treated with remdesivir saw rapid recoveries, and nearly all of them were discharged from the hospital in less than a week, according to the early data.

Gilead Sciences sent the following statement to 10News in response to the news:

We understand the urgent need for a COVID-19 treatment and the resulting interest in data on our investigational antiviral drug remdesivir. The totality of the data need to be analyzed in order to draw any conclusions from the trial. Anecdotal reports, while encouraging, do not provide the statistical power necessary to determine the safety and efficacy profile of remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19. We expect data from multiple studies to continue to evolve over the next month to help establish the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in patients infected with COVID-19. We are grateful for all of the efforts of investigators and patients participating in our studies and look forward to sharing the results from the complete dataset.

Manuel Castro, an ER nurse, was hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus.
"I was like, I can't breathe and I got worse and worse and worse within an hour or two," he said. "I rushed to the emergency room, about 10-15 minutes into the emergency they were putting me out into a medical induced come, putting me on a ventilators."

Castro said he was showing no improvement even days after being put on a ventilator.

Then he was given remdesivir, within two days he was feeling better.

"I woke up," he said enthusiastically. "I was excited I was waking up."

Castro is happy to be healthy and looking forward to getting back to work.

"I'm trying to get back as soon as possible" he said. "To get back on the frontlines and taking care of patients again because that's what I love to do, it's my passion, I can't wait to do it again."