Remdesivir, the drug that has shown early positive results for reducing the recovery time for patients with COVID-19, originated in the labs at the Gillings School of Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill. The drug does not cure COVID-19 nor does it prevent infection, but it does seem to accelerate recovery.
“This is a game changer for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 and provides hope to many infected,” UNC epidemiologist Ralph Baric said.
About 20 coronavirus patients at Duke University Hospital participated in the first national tests. The patients were randomized to receive either the drug or a placebo, and both the doctor and patient were not allowed to know who received the therapy. They were all adults who had serious symptoms, such as breathing difficulties that require supplemental oxygen or a ventilator. The study was run by the National Institutes of Health and involved 1,063 hospitalized coronavirus patients around the world.