Antiviral drug Remdesivir was found to be ineffective in speeding up the recovery rate of patients suffering from Covid-19 or protecting patients from death, clinical tests in China have shown, according to a report on the World Health Organisation (WHO) website, later withdrawn
According to the report, researchers studied 237 patients, administering the Gilead Sciences drug to 158 patients and comparing their progress with the remaining 79, who received a placebo. After a month, 13.9 per cent of the patients taking the drug had died compared to 12.8 per cent of those receiving the placebo. The trial was stopped early because of side-effects.
WHO later took the report off its website.
A spokesman for Gilead Sciences said the drug testing programme was cancelled shortly after launch since there were too few patients participating and hence a significant statistical conclusion could not be drawn. However, she stated that Remdesivir tended to help treat patients in the first stage.