A team of researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has discovered new data that proves that remdesivir, a potent antiviral drug, could be used to efficiently treat cases of coronavirus (classified formally as MERS-CoV).
During the experiments conducted by the team, remdesivir managed to decrease the rate at which the virus replicates, the damage which is made to the lung, and the overall severity of the disease in the case of monkeys that were infected with the virus.
It is theorized that implementation in human trials could begin soon as the drug could be quite effective in the case of other coronaviruses, among which we can mention SARS-CoV-2 (which was previously classified as 2019-nCoV).
The experimental antivirus drug had also prevented the appearance of the disease when it was administered before infection while also boosting the condition of Rhesus macaques, which were already infected.
Remdesivir Might Cure Coronavirus
Remdesivir has been used in the past in several lab experiments, and it appeared to work in the case of monkeys infected with the Ebola and Nipah viruses. It has also shown the potential to work as an effective treatment for Ebola cases encountered in human patients.
The research took place at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories located in Hamilton, Montana. The researchers observed three distinct groups of animals: one was treated with remdesivir before being exposed to MERS-CoV, one received the treatment 12 hours after the exposure, and an untreated group for control purposes.
Data were collected over six days. All the control animals featured tell-tale signs of the disease. Those who received the drug before infection did not show any visible symptoms, no lung damage, and the rate at which the virus multiplied was considerably lower.
In the case of animals treated after the infection, the symptoms were less severe, along with the levels of the virus and lower lung damage. The study was published in a scientific journal.