Covid-19 patients who are getting an experimental drug called remdesivir have been recovering quickly, with most going home in days, STAT News reported Thursday after it obtained a video of a conversation about the trial.
The patients taking part in a clinical trial of the drug have all had severe respiratory symptoms and fever, but were able to leave the hospital after less than a week of treatment, STAT quoted the doctor leading the trial as saying.
“The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We’ve only had two patients perish,” Dr. Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago who is leading the clinical trial, said in the video.
Mullane did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN. The university said it would comment once the official results of the trial were ready.
There is no approved therapy for the Covid-19, which can cause severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome in some patients. But the National Institutes of Health is organizing trials of several drugs and other treatments, among them remdesivir.
The drug, made by Gilead Sciences, was tested against Ebola with little success, but multiple studies in animals showed the drug could both prevent and treat coronaviruses related to Covid-19, including SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).
Back in February, the World Health Organization said remdesivir showed potential against Covid-19.
STAT said it obtained and viewed a copy of the video discussion Mullane had last week with colleagues about the trial.
“Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn’t have to be 10 days,” she was quoted as saying.