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Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences – Remdesivir (mild/moderate)

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, together with the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, has initiated a Phase 3 clinical trial of remdesivir [5]. It is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of remdesivir in 308 hospitalized adult patients with mild and moderate COVID-19. Both primary and full study results should be available in April 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. Mild/Moderate 2019-nCoV Remdesivir RCT.