As of this morning – Thursday April 30 – the current recorded case count for COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the UK has hit 165,221 with 26,097 deaths.

Just days after the WHO prematurely reported seemingly disappointing data for Gilead's remdesivir, a more positive picture of the drug's potential is emerging from a study in the US sponsored by the  National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In the 1,063-patient trial, those hospitalised with advanced COVID-19 and lung involvement who received remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received placebo, recovery being defined as being well enough for hospital discharge or returning to normal activity level.

Preliminary results indicate that patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery than those who received placebo. Specifically, the median time to recovery was 11 days for patients treated with remdesivir compared with 15 days for those who received placebo. Results also suggested a survival benefit, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group.

The Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, or ACTT is the first clinical trial launched in the US to evaluate an experimental treatment for COVID-19.

More detailed information about the trial results, including more comprehensive data, will be available in a forthcoming report, the NIAID noted.

Remdesivir is an investigational nucleotide analog with broad-spectrum antiviral activity both in vitro and in vivo in animal models against multiple emerging viral pathogens, including Ebola, Marburg, MERS and SARS.

In vitro testing conducted by Gilead has demonstrated that remdesivir is active against the virus that causes COVID-19. The safety and efficacy of remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 are being evaluated in multiple ongoing Phase III clinical trials.

In addition to the NIAID trial, Gilead will share new remdesivir data from the company’s open-label Phase III SIMPLE trial in patients with severe COVID-19 disease shortly.

This study will provide information on whether a shorter, five-day duration of therapy may have similar efficacy and safety as the 10-day treatment course evaluated in the NIAID trial and other ongoing trials.

WASH YOUR HANDS:

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING:

Maintain at least two metres (six feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

STAY AT HOME:
Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home).