Gilead Sciences just announced possible medical trials of a promising coronavirus treatment known as remdesivir. This well-known drug now comes at an inhalable form that has shown promise in combating the Coronavirus pandemic.
Remdesivir is an intravenous drug that’s typically utilized in hospitals. However, Gilead aims to provide an inhalable version of the drug that’s much easier to consume. It would require a nebulizer as the primary administration method which means that it would deliver a liquid version of the drug through the airway.
It’s worth noting that Gilead Sciences is an American biopharmaceutical company and this product has been utilized with some success by asthma patients. The aim with administering this drug through nebulizers is the fact that these devices are portable and convenient. The company also hopes that it can be utilized at different infection stages.
Nebulizers are also quite ubiquitous and you can easily find them in your local urgent care clinic and they’re reportedly suitable for use by asymptomatic patients to suppress the virus. That’s because the remdesivir drug is an antiviral that stops the virus from replicating and this is according to ongoing human trials for the drug.
The United States Food and Drug Administration gave the drug an Emergency Use Authorization status which means that the drug can be intravenously administered in a hospital setting, but only with patients that have a positive diagnosis. This doesn’t mean that remdesivir has complete approval for free use because its safety and efficiency haven’t been confirmed yet.
According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, remdesivir has been shown to speed up recovery from 15 days to 11 days in hospitalized patients, with negligible mortality effects.
Gilead Sciences is hopeful that the inhalable version of the drug will assist overwhelmed public health systems to cope with an influx of new cases by minimizing the amount of time patients spend experiencing symptoms. The company has recruited healthy volunteers to take part in phase 1 trials of the drug to ensure that it’s safe enough to use by August 1st.
What might make this treatment popular is its convenience as well as the fact that it appears to be suitable for use later on in the infection. But, early studies show that early administration might be best.
Most experts are in agreement that antivirals are the way to go during early infection stages to prevent the virus from getting stronger and spreading to life-threatening levels.
The coronavirus causes an unusual immune response where it causes the immune system to turn on itself and start damaging healthy tissue instead of focusing on removing the invading bacteria.
Currently, the company aims to monitor the effectiveness of inhaled remdesivir over its injectable variety. The point is to see which option the body absorbs better and how effective it is when it counts. Researchers will test out different dosages to figure out what works for different types of patients.
Nebulizers are important to consider and invest in because they’re easier to tolerate among asthmatic patients and those with respiratory conditions. But, it can be a hit and miss so additional studies and human trials are required to determine their long-term effectiveness and safety.