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 .
Gilead has initiated a Phase 3 clinical trial of two remdesivir treatment regimens in 400 patients with severe COVID-19  to evaluate the efficacy of remdesivir compared to the standard of care. Both primary and full results should be available in May 2020.
- 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.
- 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.
- Martinez, M. A. (2020). Compounds with therapeutic potential against novel respiratory 2019 coronavirus. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
- 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).
- Study to Evaluate the Safety and Antiviral Activity of Remdesivir (GS-5734™) in Participants With Severe Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)