Well-Being Prevention & Cures

Former SARS drug undergoing human testing in China to combat coronavirus

wuhan virus coronavirus vaccine Remdesivir drug trials testing study placebo double blind Gilead
STR/AFP via Getty Images

China has reportedly taken proactive measures to begin a clinical trial to test a drug to combat the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak as contamination efforts are still being pursued, according to Bloomberg

The drug, Remdesivir, is an antiviral drug created by Gilead Sciences Inc., and was also used to treat other novel viruses and infectious diseases like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Ebola. 

It will be the subject of testing located in the Beijing hospital China-Japan Friendly Hospital “for efficacy in treating the deadly new strain of coronavirus,” according to a hospital spokeswoman. 

The drug’s trial will take place in Wuhan, the original epicenter of the virus, which is under quarantine, along with 16 other Chinese cities. 

The study of Remdesivir will be conducted on approximately 270 patients with respiratory infections or pneumonia as a result of the virus. They will be scouted in a randomized, double blind and placebo-controlled study. 

The drug has not yet been approved for use and retail by a regulatory body, but will be used on patients as a result of the widespread and unprecedented outbreak of the coronavirus.  

In a prepared statement, Gilead said that: “Remdesivir is not yet licensed or approved anywhere globally and has not been demonstrated to be safe or effective for any use. At the request of treating physicians, and with the support of local regulatory agencies, who have weighed the risks and benefits of providing an experimental drug with no data in 2019-nCoV, Gilead has provided remdesivir for use in a small number of patients with 2019-nCoV for emergency treatment in the absence of any approved treatment options.”

Bloomberg states that this trial and testing could lead to the drug being fast tracked for approval.