Emory helped lead research on drug to treat COVID-19

Georgia News

ATLANTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Researchers say there may be some good news for treating COVID-19 patients.

Atlanta’s Emory University enrolled 103 patients — the most in the world — for the drug Remdesivir to treat people with the coronavirus and say it’s working.

Atlanta Bureau Chief, Archith Seshadri ,shows you why researchers say it’s a step in the right direction but not a cure.

A drug developed to treat Ebola patients — could now help those with COVID-19 complications.

Emory researchers say the new IV drug — “Rem-des-ivir” — helps those with the coronavirus recover faster than those who received a placebo.

“We do know that many patients with COVID-19 experience inflammation and that damages lungs and their body. The way Remdesivir works is it turns out the virus’ ability to make more of itself and continue to build.”

Dr. Aneesh Mehta Emory Infectious Disease Expert

The drug can block the virus but the treatment is only for people who are moderately or severely ill.

“The side effect is mild — meaning there are liver enzymes meaning their liver is going through some stress from the medication.”

Doctors say the drug has a 4-percent lower death rate than a placebo, and also a 31-percent higher recovery rate — meaning 4 fewer days in the hospital — which could reduce the chance of other infections.

“One important way to prevent this outbreak is vaccination and we hope that knowledge will help us prevent future infections understand how these can be prevent for future outbreaks.”

The FDA has not approved any drug to treat COVID-19 including Remdesivir.

More than 1000 patients were involved – in the controlled adaptive COVID-19 treatment trial — across 21 countries .

Emory doctors are launching the second phase of the ACCT trial which will look at Remdesivir plus a medicine that will modulate the immune system to help prevent inflammatory damage.

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