Many repurposed drugs not effective against Covid

A pharmacist at AMZ Hospital in Dhaka Bangladesh with a generic version of remdesivi

Newer anti-viral drugs, immunomodulators and anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibodies are now being considered for evaluation, the World Health Organization said. But WHO posted them to a pre-print server.

A huge trial like this one, conducted in various countries with various health care systems, can lead to inconsistent treatment protocols whose effects can be hard to analyze, he said. Open label trial basically means that participants as well as the investigators both know which drug is given to the participants.

The protocol was created to involve hundreds of potentially over-stressed hospitals in dozens of countries.

"In 405 hospitals across 30 countries, 11,266 adults were randomised, with 2,750 of them given remdesivir, 954 hydroxychloroquine, 1,411 lopinavir, 651 interferon plus lopinavir, 1,412 only interferon, and 4,088 no study drug", the uploaded trial study stated.

Differences in patients who participated in the trial at hundreds of clinical sites may undermine the quality of the data, said Prof.

"The unpromising overall findings from the regimens tested suffice to refute early hopes, based on smaller or non-randomized studies, that any will substantially reduce inpatient mortality, initiation of ventilation or [hospitalization] duration".

How did recent NIAID data differ from the Solidarity trial?

But Prof Martin Landray, who runs the large trial Recovery in the United Kingdom, said the results of the trial were "important but sobering" - and added that there were already concerns about the cost and accessibility of remdesivir.

Researchers gave remdesivir - which had shown promising results in previous studies - to 2,750 patients.

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Redesivir, originally developed for Ebola, got emergency use authorisation for treating Covid-19 in May from the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). The study is a double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

The drug's manufacturer Gilead rejected the findings of the trial.

What are Gilead and others saying?

Gilead too expressed concern on limitations of the trial.

Remdesivir's maker, Gilead Sciences, said in a statement that the results are inconsistent with more rigorous studies and have not been fully reviewed or published.

Gilead had known about the results of Solidarity since October 6, the World Health Organization said, citing disclosure rules under the Solidarity Trial.

The European Union should renegotiate a 1 billion euro ($1.17 billion) contract it sealed last week with Gilead for a six-month supply of the COVID-19 drug remdesivir after it showed poor results in a large trial, experts said on Friday.

"Remdesvir needs to be used within the first 10 days to have any effect". Since the Maharashtra government has passed this order, DPCO did not play any role in curbing remdesivir's prices.

Will there be review of Remdesivir clinical protocol? The NIH now recommends against the use of interferons (alpha or beta) for severe or critical patients with COVID-19, except in the context of a clinical trial.

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