Remdesivir, a drug that was first created to treat Ebola, might also hold promise in the fight against COVID-19. A controlled clinical trial of the drug has begun, which is being sponsored by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Animal research in the past has shown that remdesivir is active against other coronaviruses, like SARS and MERS, so it's possible that it can fight against different virus families.
MONDAY, April 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- A drug originally developed to treat Ebola is getting a second chance in the spotlight, as research teams in the United States, Asia and Europe race to test it against the new coronavirus.
The drug, called remdesivir, has already been given to a limited number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, on a "compassionate use" basis. That included the first U.S. patient diagnosed with the disease -- a 35-year-old man in Washington state who sought care on Jan. 19, shortly after returning home from Wuhan, China.
He ended up in the hospital, and after his lung function deteriorated, he was placed on oxygen and later given an infusion of remdesivir. He improved the next day, his doctors reported recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.