Antiviral drug Remdesivir, a treatment for the coronavirus is entering a new phase, as a large federal study found that it can hasten the recovery of COVID-19 patients.
It will examine whether adding another drug, beta interferon — which mainly kills viruses but can also tame inflammation — would improve Remdesivir’s effects and speed recovery even more.
The additional drug, Beta interferon, currently approved to treat multiple sclerosis, also has anti-inflammatory properties and helps tame the immune system response, which may help tame a deadly overreaction the immune system has to the virus
So far, Remdesivir, an experimental drug, has received emergency use approval from the Food and Drug Administration to treat hospitalized COVID patients.
In April, the National Institute of Health (NIH) released results from a study that found the medication helped patients recover 31 percent faster.
This is the third phase of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), being run by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is designed to move quickly. Known as an adaptive trial, it is a race between treatments. It tests one treatment against another and when results are in, the drug that won that phase becomes the control drug for the next phase, in which it is tested against a different drug.