Drugmakers are racing to find ways to treat the novel coronavirus by repurposing existing medications. Here’s what you need to know about remdesivir and 15 other leading treatments.

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Researchers are trying a wide range of existing drugs against the novel coronavirus, hoping to find a treatment that fights the virus or alleviates patients’ symptoms.
These repurposed drugs are the only near-term hope for a coronavirus treatment. Dozens of trials are now testing them in patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Drugmakers are also crafting new therapeutics and vaccines tailored for this coronavirus. While these efforts hold great promise in halting the virus, they all require at least several months of development and testing.
Business Insider reviewed the research landscape and identified 16 leading treatments that are now being tested against COVID-19.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Repurposed drugs are the most promising options for finding a treatment quickly for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Dozens of clinical trials are testing drugs originally designed for other ailments, such as Ebola, HIV, malaria, and arthritis.

These potential treatments have already been tested in humans for other diseases, and some are already approved to treat other conditions. That means we already know how safe they are for people to take, and what side effects to expect. Researchers can skip some early steps and move quickly into human trials testing how well the drugs work in COVID-19.

While repurposed drugs can be tested now, they aren’t expected to be anything close to a panacea for the virus. The gold standard for halting infectious diseases remains vaccines, which can protect healthy people from getting infected in the first place.

Read more: There are more than 25 coronavirus vaccines set to be tested in people this year. Here are the 10 leading vaccine candidates, and what to watch for in the rest of 2020.

Vaccine research typically takes years. Even under the urgency of this pandemic, US health officials have said it will take at least a year to know if any vaccine is safe and effective.

Simultaneously, biotech and pharma companies are scrambling to craft new therapeutics. These will be tailored specifically to fighting this novel coronavirus. Even under the most aggressive timetables for clinical testing, those won’t be widely available to patients until at least the fall.

That leaves repurposed drugs as the near-term hope. Here are the top candidates and how they are being tested against COVID-19.

This article was initially published in April 2020 and has been updated.


Remdesivir is an antiviral drug developed by Gilead Sciences in 2009. It was previously tested in more than 100 Ebola patients during that outbreak.

Through clinical trials and expanded access programs, thousands of COVID-19 patients have already been treated with remdesivir.

The National Institutes of Health released data showing the drug helps coronavirus patients recover more quickly from the virus. Based on that data, the FDA on May 1 issued an emergency authorization for the drug’s use. While it’s not an approval, it could allow for more hospitalized patients to receive the drug.

On June 1, Gilead said that remdesivir helped hospitalized patients with more moderate forms of …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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