The Covid-19 treatment remdesivir has no substantial effect on a patient’s chances of survival, a clinical trial by the World Health Organization has found, delivering a significant blow to hopes of identifying existing medicines to treat the disease.
Results from the WHO’s highly anticipated Solidarity trial, which studied the effects of remdesivir and three other potential drug regimens in 11,266 hospitalised patients, found that none of the treatments “substantially affected mortality” or reduced the need to ventilate patients, according to a copy of the study seen by the Financial Times.
“These remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon regimens appeared to have little effect on in-hospital mortality,” the study found.
The results of the WHO trial also showed that the drugs had little effect on how long patients stayed in hospital. However, WHO researchers said the study was primarily designed to assess impact on in-hospital mortality. The study has not yet been peer-reviewed.
Remdesivir was one of a series of drugs used to treat US President Donald Trump after he tested positive for Covid-19. It was developed by US drugmaker Gilead Sciences, initially as a potential medicine to treat Ebola.