Clin Med (Lond). 2020 Aug 30:clinmed.2020-0524. doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2020-0524. Online ahead of print.
The emergence of the novel beta coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic has generated a rapidly evolving research landscape in the search for new therapeutic agents. The intravenous antiviral drug remdesivir has in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 and now studies have reported its clinical efficacy, demonstrating shorter time to recovery in hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19. Adverse event rates were low and remdesivir has now received conditional marketing authorisation from the European Medicines Agency. An interim clinical commissioning policy is in place in the UK. These studies make remdesivir the first antiviral drug able to alter the natural history of severe COVID-19, and a benchmark for the comparison of new therapies in the future. Ongoing studies are investigating its use in early mild/moderate COVID-19, alternative formulations, and the combination of remdesivir with immunomodulatory agents.