Photo: Gilead Sciences, via Associated Press
The remdesivir, which was first created to combat the Ebola virus, is on everyone’s lips for several days.
The remdesivir seems to be a promising avenue in the treatment of the COVID-19, but it must be exercised before to determine really what role he can play, ” said a quebec researcher who is involved in a vast international study on the issue.
This drug, which was first created to combat the Ebola virus, is on everyone’s lips since dr. Anthony Fauci, who advises the White House in this time of pandemic, has publicly stated that it had accelerated the healing of patients, to whom it was administered.
“The remdesivir is not a drug that has been made to treat the COVID-19 at the base, has launched dr. Alexis Turgeon, Centre de recherche du CHU de Québec. It’s still a molecule that is looking for a disease. Maybe she has found it, but we must be able to properly assess the results […] first. “
Dr. Turgeon and his colleagues are involved in CATCO, the canadian component of the broader study of international Solidarity launched by the world health Organization
This study aims to assess the efficacy of three pharmaceutical interventions — lopinavir / ritonavir, hydroxychloroquine, and remdesivir — which have been used for different patients in China and in Europe. They will be in particular compared to health care classic.
“In China and in Europe, where there has been the first outbreak of the pandemic, we used a lot of medications and interventions, [ … ] not really that there is a clear indication,” said dr. Turgeon.
“In emergency situations, there is often a bit of a panic and people start to say, “my patient is better to receive something than to receive nothing”, which is not always the case. Sometimes, doing nothing is better when you don’t have a level of evidence adequate. “
The example of hydroxychloroquine
If the remdesivir is the drug that made the past few days, there is a month and a half, it was the hydroxychloroquine, says dr. Turgeon.
“A few weeks ago, some of our colleagues put a lot of pressure to use it as a standard of care,” he said.
But today, we understand that the hydroxchloroquine is accompanied by potentially serious side effects, to the point where the Food and Drug Administration of the United States has recently issued strict guidelines regarding its use.
“In situations of pandemic like this, people are looking for and we all have the same goal : we want to treat patients, we want to be successful in reducing mortality, reducing morbidity, said dr. Turgeon. But there are not that we must be very careful to cross, and hydroxychloroquine is one. There is a month and a half, some might have given to the world, but here we see that we need to be careful. “
The remdesivir is a molecule ” that is not banal, it is necessary to study in a structured way, and this is what we do in the study CATCO Solidarity “, he added.
In theory, the remdesivir could interfere with the replication of the virus, reducing the viral load, prevent or amenuiserait the inflammatory cascade that causes both damage and give a chance to the immune system to take over.
But a study published recently by the medical journal Lancet showed neither an improvement in symptoms, or improved mortality. The curve of viral load of the subjects was also identical, whether or not they have received the remdesivir.
“Even if one has a molecule which is interesting and which is showing effects in vitro or in the animal or in a few patients, before you jump to conclusions that this is a molecule that is clearly effective and that will save lives, there is one step which is very large and it is necessary to be very careful,” said dr. Turgeon.
Another study, this one conducted by the National Institutes of Health in the United States, should be subject to a peer review shortly.
“The data that we currently have on the remdesivir are based on two studies, concluded dr. Turgeon. Currently, we cannot say that it is a molecule that works because we haven’t seen the raw data […], but there is still something promising. “