Does remdesivir improve clinical outcome in patients?

Bottom Line:

A 10-day course of remdesivir resulted in clinical improvement (measured by oxygen saturation, mortality, discharge from hospitals) in 68% of the patients in this study.


Grien J et al., Compassionate Use of Remdesivir for Patients with Covid-19. New England Journal of Medicine (2020). DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2007016

Date Published:

10 April 2020


Remdesivir is a drug that inhibits viral RNA replication, and has been used in the past to combat several virus families, including filoviruses (e.g., Ebola) and coronaviruses (e.g., severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV)). It appears to be a safe drug according to previous experience with 500 people, including healthy volunteers and patients treated for acute Ebola virus infection. In this report, the authors describe the compassionate use of Remdesivir for hospitalized patients with severe Covid-19 in the United States, Europe, Japan or Canada. During a follow-up of 18 days, 68% had an improvement in oxygen-support class, including 57% of those receiving mechanical ventilation. 47% of patients were discharged, and 13% died. These results highlight the clinical improvement in a significant proportion of patients receiving remdesivir.

Summary by: Sheida Naderi-Azad