Mumbai: Amid increasing coronavirus cases in the city, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has now decided to start clinical trials on remdesivir, an antiviral drug which is used for the treatment of ebola virus. Health officials said soon the clinical trials of this drug will start at BYL Nair hospital.
Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner, BMC, said that these drugs have not been used in India, but it has yielded good response in foreign countries for treating corona patients. Following which they have decided to start clinical trials. “First we will be administering remdesivir medicines to critically-ill Covid-19 patients.
This drug cuts the duration of symptoms from 15 days to 11 in clinical trials at hospitals around the world. Once we get the medicines, trials will be started,” he said. “Nair hospital will be the first hospital in Mumbai to do so,” added Kakani.
Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral drug which is also known as a nucleoside analog. It was developed by the US-based pharma major Gilead Sciences in 2014. It stops replication in a range of viruses, including hepatitis, ebola and other human coronaviruses, such as SARS and MERS.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases conducted study of Gilead’s remdesivir, perhaps the most closely watched experimental drug to treat the novel coronavirus, showed that the medicine is effective against Covid19, the disease caused by the virus. “Preliminary data show patients who received remdesivir recovered faster,” said in a statement.
However, a study published in international science journal — Lancet under ‘Remdesivir in adults with severe COVID-19: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial’ states that “Remdesivir did not provide significant clinical or antiviral effects in seriously ill patients with COVID-19.”
On the other hand, BMC had started clinical trials of Itolizumab on 17 critically ill patients at the Nair hospital which gave a good response. “Fourteen of 17 have shown improvement in their health after we administered them with itolizumab,” Kakani said.