Breakthrough drug found to ‘cure’ coronavirus patients in days NOT part of UK’s official drug trials – The Sun

A BREAKTHROUGH drug reported to help coronavirus patients dramatically recover in days is not part of the UK's official drug trial.

The anti-viral medication remdesivir has seen seriously ill patients come off ventilators within 24 hours in some US studies.

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Gilead Sciences, which manufactures it, said more than 100 patients had been trialling the drug at 15 NHS centres.

But Professor Peter Horby, leaving the UK's official trials at the University of Oxford, said it wasn't part of those tests.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4 this morning he said: "So that drug is in a number of trials.

"There is a trial that's just finished in China and I think we will see the results of that fairly soon and it's also in trials in the UK led by the drug company and it's on trials in the US. But it's not currently in our trial.

"I think we've got to be cautious. But yes, it is a drug that in the laboratory looks like it's got good activity.

"So we would just hope it has the same activity in people and patients."

Yesterday the UK's coronavirus death toll passed 15,000 as 888 people died in a single day with 114,217 infected. 

In the US 125 people with coronavirus trialled the drug – with 113 of them in a serious condition.

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The drug – first used to treat Ebola – was given to them in daily infusions, and by the end of the trial most patients had seen symptoms lessen over a week and only two died.

According to STAT News, nearly all patients with fever and respiratory issues were discharged in a matter of days after participating in the clinical trial at The University of Chicago Medicine.

"The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We've only had two patients perish," Dr Kathleen Mullane, the infectious disease expert who is leading the trial, said.

“Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn’t have to be 10 days. We have very few that went out to 10 days, maybe three."

But those at the University of Chicago Medicine cautioned against the drug being labelled as a cure just yet.

They said "partial data from an ongoing clinical trial is by definition incomplete and should never be used to draw conclusions."

This university is one of 152 trial sites around the world treating 2,400 severely ill patients in a "single arm" trial sponsored by Gilead.

The drug was tested against Ebola with little success, but multiple studies on animals showed the drug could both prevent and treat coronaviruses related to Covid-19, including SARS and MERS.



The World Health Organization (WHO) had previously said the medicine showed potential in tackling the aggressive virus.

President Trump also touted the potential for remdesivir and said it “seems to have a very good result."

The NHS has launched the world's largest clinical trial for coronavirus treatments – and needs more patients to take part.

Researchers crunched a year of planning and regulatory approval into just nine days and have almost 1,000 volunteers already.

Adults diagnosed with the disease are being offered the chance to enroll in the trial when admitted to over 100 NHS hospitals.

Those who agree to take part are randomly assigned to standard care alone or standard care plus one of three existing drugs.

These are Lopinavir-Ritonavir, which is used for HIV, Dexamethasone, used for inflammation, and Hydroxychloriquine, used in malaria.

All have been chosen because the way they work gives researchers hope they may also prove beneficial against Covid-19.

University of Oxford scientists will continually analyse data on each of the participants to see which treatment – if any – is best.

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