KEY POINTS

  • Over 242,000 coronavirus cases worldwide and over 13,600 cases reported in the U.S.
  • A survivor from Washington reveals how the drug remdesvir relieved coronavirus symptoms immediately
  • Other experimental drugs include arthritis drug, anti-HIV drugs, and the Japanese flu drug

More than 86,000 people have been reported to have recovered from the coronavirus, according to The Guardian. One of them from Washington State told The Story about her husband’s personal experience with the experimental antiviral drug remdesvir.

Susan Kane’s husband tested COVID-19 positive after returning home from a business trip to Florida. When she got to know that a local hospital was prescribing remdesvir on an experimental basis, she was willing to try it.

"When my husband started to get very sick, I just thought, that’s where I want to take him. We could have gone to about four different hospitals, but I wanted to take him to Providence [Regional Medical Center in Everett, Wash.] because I heard the first patient survived. I didn’t know why, but I heard that he survived," Fox News quoted Susan.

Her husband began to feel better almost immediately after taking the pill, she said.

"He was admitted on Monday. He was given his first dose on Tuesday. By Wednesday, he was improving dramatically; His fever went down from 103 to just under 100. By that night, he said that it didn’t feel as tight or as much pressure on his chest," mentioned Fox News.

Remdesivir lies within the range of potency of medications used to treat other viral infections, the American Council on Science and Health mentioned. Remdesvir is a fairly potent inhibitor of COVID-19 replication without obvious toxicity. It might not work as a pill. However, this information is, currently, irrelevant since it will be only administered intravenously. The council predicts that the drug has at least a 50% chance of becoming the first drug to treat coronavirus.

Technically, it is a nucleotide analog, but with an unusual molecular group tacked on, mentioned Biopharmadive. Experts believe that, as the coronavirus tries to replicate itself, remdesvir gets in the way and inhibits the process. The drug emerged from work done by Gilead and the U.S. government in the mid-2010s to test compounds against emerging viruses.

Hopes are the highest for this experimental antiviral drug for use against Ebola, developed by Gilead.  Remdesvir isn’t the only drug being evaluated for treating coronavirus. Arthritis drug, malaria drug, Japanese flu medicine, and an anti-HIV drug have all been experimented in COVID-19 patients.

Gilead Sciences Remdesivir, an antiviral drug from Gilead Sciences, Inc. Photo: Reuters