A clinical trial by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the United States has found the first treatment that has been confirmed effective against coronavirus, as it has been shown to reduce the time needed to overcome the disease by 31%.
This was announced by the institute's director, Anthony Fauci, who is also an advisor to President Donald Trump. According to 'The New York Times', the government has already announced that it plans to authorize the antiviral 'Remdesivir' as a treatment against COVID-19.
In general, the duration of COVID-19 is an average of 15 days, which is the time it took people who did not receive Remdesivir to overcome it. In contrast, people who did receive the treatment needed only 11 days to overcome the disease, speeding up the healing process.
In terms of mortality, the treatment has also proven to be effective: in the 2 groups of patients analysed, the group that was not given the treatment had a mortality of 11%, while in the other group, which did take the drug, the mortality was reduced to 8%.
"We believe it really opens the door for us to be able to deal with COVID-19 now," Fauci explained in the Financial Times. "It's a very important proof of concept because it shows that a drug can block this virus. I can guarantee that as more people, more companies, more researchers get involved, it will get better and better," he said.
Although the results observed are very encouraging, the scientific community still has to validate them. In fact, a few months ago a similar trial was carried out in China. Preliminary data already suggested that the treatment could reduce the duration of the disease, but the Asian country entered the phase of overcoming the pandemic and did not have enough sick people to extend the studies and draw conclusions.
Another study conducted collectively in hospitals in the United States, Japan, Canada and Europe also indicated that treatment with 'Remdesivir' was effective, but it was not conducted with control groups of patients treated with placebo, so its results are not considered conclusive either.
'Remdesivir' is a drug that was originally developed to combat the Ebola epidemic that affected Africa between 2014 and 2016. What the drug does is deactivate an RNA enzyme that some viruses need to reproduce, and without it, they lose the ability to duplicate their genome.
The drug was never approved because, as has happened with coronavirus in China, the epidemic was controlled before reliable results on treatment could be obtained, although it proved effective even having some side effects.