Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious disease specialist, said on Wednesday that he is optimistic about the ability of the antiviral drug remdesivir to shorten the time it takes seriously ill patients to recover from a Covid-19 infection.
Dr. Fauci said that clinical trials in the United States and a number of other countries, including Greece, “shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.”
“Although a 31 percent improvement doesn’t seem like a knockout 100 percent, it is a very important proof of concept,” Fauci said, adding that “what it is proving is that a drug can block this virus.”
New results from a clinical trial conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases establish the drug, produced by Gilead Sciences, as the standard of care for Covid-19.
This development is “really quite important for a number of reasons,” the veteran infectious disease specialist said, calling the data “highly significant.”
Fauci said that patients’ recovery time was reduced from 15 days to 11 days in the drug trials, which involved over 1,000 hospitalized patients in the US, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Greece and other countries.
In some of the first unequivocally positive news regarding the coronavirus, these were, he said, “the first truly high-powered, randomized, placebo-controlled” trials for a coronavirus treatment.