Remdesivir, the antiviral drug made by Foster City’s Gilead Sciences that has recently shown promise in treating COVID-19 patients, will likely not turn the tide of the coronavirus pandemic on its own.
Doctors in the Bay Area know that, which is why they’re studying a host of other potential treatments that could be used to alleviate the worst symptoms of COVID-19 or keep people out of the hospital entirely. And the scope of the local research seems to be broadening.
The regional efforts raise the possibility that a major advancement in coronavirus treatments could come from the Bay Area, a research powerhouse that has produced drug breakthroughs before. But they have many competitors, as more than 220 treatments for the virus are in consideration worldwide, according to the Milken Institute.
Like remdesivir, many of the drugs were originally designed for another purpose and are being re-evaluated for use against the novel coronavirus. But at least one local company is investigating the possibility of a brand-new drug made specifically for coronavirus infections.
Some potential treatments might be used in tandem with remdesivir. Others could, if shown to be effective, help prevent COVID-19 patients from ever needing the Gilead drug.
“Remdesivir is not a silver bullet,” said Lloyd Minor, dean of Stanford University’s School of Medicine. “It’s not the type of drug that you give it to someone and they’re instantly cured of this virus. But it’s an important first step, and now there will likely be other trials that use remdesivir and add another drug to the treatment regimen.”
Early results released a few weeks ago from a federally sponsored clinical trial of remdesivir indicated that the drug helped reduce the amount of time it took for COVID-19 patients to leave the hospital. The data was peer reviewed and published on Friday in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the federal government’s leading infectious-disease expert, said when discussing the preliminary data in late April that the trial results were “quite good news” and “a very important proof of concept.”
Now the federal government is sponsoring another clinical trial that will pair remdesivir with an…
Go to the news source: Bay Area search for coronavirus drugs extends far beyond remdesivir