Remdesivir was one of the drugs given to former U.S. President Donald Trump for his Covid infection. Early on, as of July 2020, it proved effective against Sars-CoV-2, but because it is a drug that must be administered daily via an infusion, it is rarely used in practice. However, Chinese experts have now developed a form of this drug suitable for swallowing: the remdesivir derivative VV116. According to these study data, it should be similarly effective in this form as the combination drug Paxlovid. The study data were published in the renowned “New England Journal of Medicine.”
The study was a Phase III trial, usually the basis for marketing approval. According to a report in the German medical journal “Ärzteblatt,” VV116 has already been approved in Uzbekistan in 2021 and is produced by Junshi Biosciences. The Chinese company is unlikely to have submitted a marketing authorization application in the USA or Europe.
How does Remdesivir or VV116 work?
Remdesivir was developed as an inhibitor of viral replication – initially intended for use in Ebola infections. Suppose it is used in the early stages of the disease. In that case, this active ingredient can interfere with the copying process of RNA polymerase and, thus, subsequently interfere with the replication of Sars-CoV-2 in the body.
Three hundred eighty-four study participants were randomly assigned to receive VV116 or paxlovide orally for five days each. The study participants had a mean age of 53, and 92 percent suffered from mild covid-19 symptoms. Three-quarters of the subjects were vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. A period over 60 years (just under 38 percent), a body mass index over 25 (just under 33 percent), smoking (12.5 percent), and diabetes (just over ten percent) were the main risk factors.
The main criterion for assessment was the time to sustained recovery of the sufferers (no or almost no symptoms over two days). Both forms of treatment were about equal in this respect. In the group treated with the remdesivir variant, patients recovered after a mean of four days. This was the case in the treatment with paxlovid after a standard of five days. There were no serious illnesses or deaths. In terms of tolerability, the results of VV116 appear to be slightly better.
- source: kleinezeitung.at/picture: pixabay.com
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