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4 treatments for coronavirus, including remdezivir, hydroxychloroquine, flop in a large WHO study

Four coronavirus drugs have been found to have “little or no effect” on hospitalized patients, according to preliminary results from a World Health Organization study.

The expected findings from the WHO Solidarity multilateral study were published ahead of a peer review at medRxiv on Thursday, which evaluates remdezivir, hydroxychloroquine, interferon and the combined HIV drug lopinavir-ritonavir.

“The main results of mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospitalization were not clearly reduced by any of the studied drugs,” according to the study.


While hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir were dropped from the WHO study in the summer due to uselessness, remdezivir̵

7;s findings directly contrast with the results of a US study led by the NIH, which showed it shortened patients’ path to recovery by about four to five days. These results were recently confirmed by a final report from which John Bagel, associate director of clinical research in the microbiology and infectious diseases department at NIAID, told TIME that “these data increase the value of Remdesivir in hospitalized patients.”

Remdezivir drug maker Gilead Sciences issued a statement expressing concern about the WHO study.

“The emerging data appear to be incompatible with more reliable evidence from a number of randomized, controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals confirming the clinical benefit of Veklury® (remdezivir),” company officials wrote. “We are concerned that the data from this global open-label test have not been subjected to the rigorous review required for constructive scientific discussion, especially given the limitations of the test design.”

Previously, Gilead conducted its own clinical trials of the drug and found that 65% of moderately ill patients had improvement after 11 days.

The WHO study involved more than 11,000 adults in 405 hospitals in 30 countries on multiple treatments tested against a control arm; 2750 patients received remdezivir. (The NIH study included 1,062 patients who were accidentally given remdezivir or placebo for 10 days.)

In a company statement sent to Fox News, Gilead noted “the significant heterogeneity of the WHO study in patient admission, implementation, control and populations”, as the design of the study prioritizes wide access.

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, the WHO’s chief scientist, highlighted the Solidarity process on Wednesday, calling it a “wonderful global collaboration” that benefits from the preparation and investment made over the past few years after learning from Ebola and others. outbreaks. She said that in approaching the COVID-19 trials, investigators knew how to write protocols quickly, ideas were shared around the clock, and drug manufacturers appeared to donate drugs.

She called it a “good experience” overall, and on Wednesday, before the data was released, she said future plans would include monoclonal antibodies, immunomodulators and new antiviral drugs developed over the past few months.

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