OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The University of Nebraska Medical Center says an antiviral drug has shown promise in helping reduce recovery time while increasing survival rates for coronavirus patients.
The Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial, which was sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is the first clinical trial of the drug remdesivir in the United States. Dr. Andre Kalil, a researcher and physician in Nebraska, lead the effort here in Omaha.
The first trial participant was an American who was repatriated after being quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship that docked in Yokohama, Japan, and volunteered to participate at the first study site, UNMC/Nebraska Medicine, in February.
450 patients total, abroad and in the United States, took part in the trial.
Preliminary results, which were reviewed by an independent board, showed "patients who received remdesivir had a 31% faster time to recovery than those who received placebo." Those who received the treatment showed an 8% mortality rate versus those not taking the drug with an 11% mortality rate.
"My colleagues and I are pleased to be part of this study which is showing good preliminary results,” said Dr. Kalil, a professor of infectious diseases in the UNMC Department of Internal Medicine. “We all are working diligently and swiftly to do the science in the appropriate way to help in this pandemic. It also gives us hope that soon this drug may be used widely.”
The antiviral remdesivir, a product of Gilead Sciences Inc., was administered for ten days to patients during the study.