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Capital Medical University – Remdesivir (severe)

Remdesivir, an antiviral drug that was initially developed for Ebola by the pharmaceutical company Gilead, has shown promise against COVID-19 [1, 2, 3]. It is an adenosine nucleotide analogue, which allows it to incorporate into viral RNA chains and cause premature termination of viral reproduction. It shows antiviral activity against filoviruses, paramyxoviruses, pneumoviruses, and pathogenic coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV [4].

Capital Medical University in China has initiated a Phase 3 clinical trial of remdesivir [5]. This randomized, controlled, double-blind trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of remdesivir in 453 patients hospitalized with severe respiratory disease and diagnosed with COVID-19. The primary results should be available in April 2020, and the full study results should be published in May 2020.


  1. Wang, M., Cao, R., Zhang, L., Yang, X., Liu, J., Xu, M., … & Xiao, G. (2020). Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro. Cell research, 30(3), 269-271.
  2. Ko, W. C., Rolain, J. M., Lee, N. Y., Chen, P. L., Huang, C. T., Lee, P. I., & Hsueh, P. R. (2020). Arguments in favor of remdesivir for treating SARS-CoV-2 infections. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, 105933.
  3. Martinez, M. A. (2020). Compounds with therapeutic potential against novel respiratory 2019 coronavirus. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
  4. Sheahan, T. P., Sims, A. C., Graham, R. L., Menachery, V. D., Gralinski, L. E., Case, J. B., … & Bannister, R. (2017). Broad-spectrum antiviral GS-5734 inhibits both epidemic and zoonotic coronaviruses. Science translational medicine, 9(396).
  5. Severe 2019-nCoV Remdesivir RCT.