New antiviral drug shows promise for treating COVID-19

New antiviral drug shows promise for treating COVID-19

There could be light at the end of the tunnel after researchers said an experimental drug showed promise of treating the dreaded novel coronavirus.

According to data from a new study cited by the United States (US) government, the drug - remdesivir was found to shorten the recovery time for COVID-19 patients.

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Remdesivir: Antiviral drug shows promise for treating COVID-19
The novel coronavirus. Photo: BBC.
Source: UGC

The study revealed remdesivir interfered with the replication of some viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus responsible for the current pandemic.

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“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Dr Anthony Fauci, the US' top infectious-disease expert said during a White House press conference on Wednesday, April 29.

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Fauci said a clinical trial of more than a thousand people showed people taking remdesivir recovered in 11 days on average, compared to 15 days for those on a placebo.

“Although a 31% improvement doesn’t seem like a knockout 100%, it is a very important proof of concept. What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus," he said.

The study also revealed patients who took the drug were less likely to die from COVID-19.

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A new antibody test to check whether someone is infected with the virus, and said to be 99 per cent accurate, was also certified for use across Europe.

Global diagnostics specialists Abbott, with a UK base, said it expects ship millions of the laboratory based lab tests across Europe by the end of May, 2020, the Independent reported.

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"The test tells you whether you have ever been exposed to the virus and generated an immune response. What it can’t do is tell you whether you’re immune or not.
“Having antibodies in and of itself does not give you protective immunity, it might do, but we don’t know that," Dr Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading said.

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