Catalan researchers part of Remdesivir study showing effective treatment for Covid-19

Trial with antiviral medication indicates improvements in recovery time and reduced mortality among patients with severe coronavirus

The front door to Barcelona's Hospital Clinic (by Lorcan Doherty)
The front door to Barcelona's Hospital Clinic (by Lorcan Doherty) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 30, 2020 01:17 PM

Catalan researchers are among a network of international scientists that have found that patients with severe Covid-19 and lung complications recover faster when treated with the antiviral medication, Remdesivir.

The study was coordinated in Spain by Roger Paredes, head of Infectious Diseases at the Germans Trias Hospital in Badalona, with help from Barcelona's Clínic Hospital, under the leadership of José Muñoz, head of International Health.

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug initially designed to fight Ebola, but the clinical trial carried out on 1,063 patients in the United States, Europe, and Asia since February 21 has shown for the first time that it is also effective against coronavirus.

Paredes stressed that the study is "a very significant advance" and he added that "it paves the way for the cure of Covid-19, possibly through the development of new drugs or combination treatments."

Preliminary results from the study, which was commissioned by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, and which involved 68 hospitals around the world, show that patients receiving Remdesivir have a 31% faster recovery time.

The results, which were reviewed on April 27 by the Data Safety Monitoring Board overseeing the study, also suggest improvements in survival, with a mortality rate of 8.0% for the group receiving the drug compared to 11.6% in the placebo group. 

The Germans Trias Hospital points out that it is the first scientifically rigorous study to demonstrate the effectiveness of a drug in treating Covid-19. In a future report, they plan to provide more detailed information on the test results, including more complete data.