SNUH to test Covid-19 drug candidate remdesivir in follow-up study
The Seoul National University Hospital (SNUH) said it would conduct a follow-up clinical study of remdesivir, an experimental treatment for Covid-19.
The hospital confirmed remdesivir’s efficacy on Covid-19 in a global study, led by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). The ACTT-1 study was on 1,063 patients at 73 hospitals in 10 countries from February to April.
The ACTT-1 trial outcomes showed that patients treated with remdesivir recovered 30 percent faster than those who received a placebo. The study proved that remdesivir was the only antiviral agent that demonstrated efficacy against Covid-19.
|Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir|
However, researchers need to develop an additional drug to control the inflammation, activated after Covid-19 infection.
The global research team is carrying out the follow-up trial, ACTT-2. In Korea, Seoul National University Hospital and Seoul National University Bundang Hospital are participating in the study.
The ACTT-2 trial will evaluate the combination of the anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib and remdesivir compared to remdesivir alone.
The NIH plans to recruit 1,032 patients from around the world. In Korea, 17 patients have registered for the trial. The study will evaluate whether the combo of remdesivir and baricitinib shortens time to recovery in hospitalized patients diagnosed with Covid-19.
Baricitinib is an oral drug used for rheumatoid arthritis patients who do not respond well to existing treatments. The agent suppresses inflammation by regulating immune cells.
“Covid-19 infections increased among the elderly in Korea. It is urgent to develop a treatment,” said Park Wan-beom, a professor at the Infectious Disease Department of SNUH. “I hope this study could help find an effective anti-inflammatory drug for seriously ill Covid-19 patients.”
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