Left Menu
Development News Edition

Study reveals how exactly an investigational drug stops coronavirus

According to the findings published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, remdesivir blocks a particular enzyme, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, that is required for genome replication of the virus.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Alberta | Updated: 28-02-2020 09:59 IST | Created: 28-02-2020 09:43 IST
Study reveals how exactly an investigational drug stops coronavirus
Gilead has initiated two Phase III clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in adults diagnosed with COVID-19.  Image Credit: ANI

The novel coronavirus outbreak, a new strain of previously unidentified coronavirus in humans is rapidly spreading around the world, claiming more than 2,700 lives in China alone. As of now, there is no specific cure or vaccine for the virus, however, an investigational new drug developed by US biotech firm Gilead Sciences is being evaluated for the treatment of novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19.

A team of academic and industry researchers from the University of Alberta and Gilead Sciences have published new findings about how Remdesivir actually works in coronavirus patients. The investigational drug has demonstrated a potential activity in animal models against the viral pathogens Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which are also coronaviruses.

According to the new findings, remdesivir blocks a particular enzyme, i.e. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase required for genome replication of the virus. Once the drug is incorporated into the growing RNA chain, the virus can no longer replicate.

"Even if you know a drug works, it can be a red flag if you don't know how it works, " said Matthias Götte, a virologist and professor at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, who led the JBC study.

"We know the drug works against different coronaviruses, like MERS and SARS, and we know the novel coronavirus is very similar to SARS. So I would say I'm cautiously optimistic that the results our team found with remdesivir and MERS will be similar with COVID-19," he further added.

Götte said more than one drug will be needed to properly fight emerging diseases like COVID-19, as with HIV and hepatitis C virus infections. The team is now waiting for results from ongoing clinical trials with remdesivir, which are expected by the end of April 2020.

Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) rapid review and acceptance of its investigational new drug (IND) filing, Gilead has initiated two Phase III clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in adults diagnosed with COVID-19.

Gilead said on Thursday that the new clinical studies expand the ongoing research into remdesivir, which includes two clinical trials in China's Hubei province led by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital as well as the recently initiated clinical trial in the United States led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Gilead's primary focus is on rapidly determining the safety and efficacy of remdesivir as a potential treatment for COVID-19, and this complementary array of studies helps to give us a more expansive breadth of data globally on the drug's profile in a short amount of time.

Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences.

Gilead developed remdesivir as a response to the 2014 West African Ebola virus epidemic. The investigational drug is not yet licensed or approved anywhere globally and has not been demonstrated to be safe or effective for any use.

The study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Alberta Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism.

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



Education post-coronavirus: Schools to rush for more digitalization

Digital education would undoubtedly boom in the post-coronavirus world, supported by educational institutions that have discovered its efficiency during the crisis, but it is still not expected to outshine traditional classroom learning....

Public health care post-COVID 19 to go for revamping, not rebooting

Until now, the economies used to classify healthcare sector under social expenditure. However, the devastation caused by COVID 19 pandemic has upgraded public healthcare on topmost priority and core economic activity for controlling future ...

Coronavirus lockdowns to speed up long-pending revamping of supply chains

With millions of production lines impacted, business disruptions to some extent are unavoidable and the lessons learned from this turbulence will leave an everlasting impact on both global and local levels of supply chains....

COVID 19 to catalyze the redefinition of urban planning and sustainability

Until now the urban planning was focused on mitigation to natural disastrous, climate change, pollution, chronic illness and lifestyle diseases. However, the global pandemic of novel coronavirus is going to change the whole narrative of urb...


Latest News

No plan to extend 21-day lockdown: Govt

The government on Monday said that there was no immediate plan to extend the 21-day lockdown amid fears that shutdown of businesses across the country to counter the spread of coronavirus may trigger severe economic and social distress. The...

Maruti Suzuki announces service, warranty extensions to support customers

Maruti Suzuki India MSI on Monday said it has extended warranty and service timelines of customer vehicles in the wake of the coronavirus pandemicFor customer vehicles, whose free service, warranty and extended warranty are scheduled to end...

FTSE 100 falls as prolong lockdown fear offsets raft of stimulus measures

UK shares slipped on Monday after last weeks bold bounce back as another wave of stimulus measures failed to calm investors worried by the possibility of a prolonged coronavirus-led shutdown in Britain.The blue-chip FTSE 100 fell 0.8 by 081...

Cornavirus cases in TN now stands at 67: CM Palaniswami

Tamil Nadu has 67 coronaviruspositive cases in the State, up from 50, Chief Minister KPalaniswami said on MondayThe fresh cases include 10 from Erode, Palaniswamitold reporters at the Secretariat here adding additionalpersonal protective eq...

Give Feedback