The journey of remdesivir: from Ebola to COVID-19

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Abstract

Countries around the world are currently fighting the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARSCoV- 2). SARS-CoV-2 is a betacoronavirus, belonging to the same genus as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV. Currently, there are no proven antiviral therapies for COVID-19. Numerous clinical trials have been initiated to identify an effective treatment. One leading candidate is remdesivir (GS-5734), a broad-spectrum antiviral that was initially developed for the treatment of Ebola virus (EBOV). Although remdesivir performed well in preclinical studies, it did not meet efficacy endpoints in a randomized trial conducted during an Ebola outbreak. Remdesivir holds promise for treating COVID-19 based on in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2, uncontrolled clinical reports, and limited data from randomized trials. Overall, current data are insufficient to judge the efficacy of remdesivir for COVID-19, and the results of additional randomized studies are eagerly anticipated. In this narrative review, we provide an overview of Ebola and coronavirus outbreaks. We then summarize preclinical and clinical studies of remdesivir for Ebola and COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19, pandemic, remdesivir, SARS-CoV-2.

Citation: Pardo J, Shukla AM, Chamarthi G, Gupte A. The journey of remdesivir: from Ebola to COVID-19. Drugs in Context 2020; 9: 2020-4-14. DOI: 10.7573/dic.2020-4-14

Contributions: All authors contributed equally to the preparation of this review. Joe Pardo and Asmita Gupte were involved in the organization, review and critique of the manuscript. Ashutosh Shukla was involved in the conception, execution, review and critique of the manuscript. Gajapathiraju Chamarthi was involved in the review and critique of the manuscript. All named authors meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship for this article, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given their approval for this version to be published.

Disclosure and potential conflicts of interest: The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) Potential Conflicts of Interests form for the authors is available for download at: https://www.drugsincontext.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/dic.2020-4-14-COI.pdf

Acknowledgements: The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the Department of Veterans Affairs or the United States government.

Funding declaration: Ashutosh M Shukla reports ongoing grant support from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Clinical Science Research and Development and Health Services Research and Developments.

Copyright: Copyright © 2020 Pardo J, Shukla AM, Chamarthi G, Gupte A. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0 which allows anyone to copy, distribute, and transmit the article provided it is properly attributed in the manner specified below. No commercial use without permission.

Correct attribution: Copyright © 2020 Pardo J, Shukla AM, Chamarthi G, Gupte A. https://doi.org/10.7573/dic.2020-4-14. Published by Drugs in Context under Creative Commons License Deed CC BY NC ND 4.0.

Article URL: https://www.drugsincontext.com/the-journey-of-remdesivir:-from-ebola-to-covid-19

Correspondence: Ashutosh M Shukla, Associate Professor and Director of Advanced CKD and Home Dialysis Program, North Florida / South Georgia VHS, and University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA. Ashutosh.shukla@medicine.ufl.edu

Provenance: submitted; externally peer reviewed.

Submitted: 23 April 2020; Peer review comments to author: 30 April 2020; Revised manuscript received: 1 May 2020; Accepted: 4 May 2020; Publication date: 22 May 2020.

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