Could Remdesivir help aid President Trump’s coronavirus symptoms?
In a tweet on Friday night, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany posted an update from the president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, saying Trump had taken his first dosage of Remdesivir while at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
“This evening I am happy to report that the President is doing very well,” Conley wrote. “He is not requiring any supplemental oxygen, but in consultation with specialists we have elected to initiate Remdesivir therapy. He has completed his first dose and is resting comfortably.”
Remdesivir, made by Gilead Sciences, is an antiviral medication that is administered through an IV. The drug, which also goes by the brand name Veklury, was initially created to treat Ebola.
The medication is designed to interfere with an enzyme that reproduces viral genetic material and it was one of the first medications believed to have the potential to treat the coronavirus based on lab tests.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of Remdesivir to treat coronavirus patients based on positive results from early clinical trials.
Since then, Remdesivir has continued to see positive results in clinical trials – though it has still not been officially approved as a treatment for the coronavirus.
In May, a clinical trial from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that the drug speeds recovery time for coronavirus patients. In July, Gilead reported that the medication has also been found to reduce the risk of death in severe coronavirus patients.
Despite the positive results from the clinical trials, Remdesivir is still an experimental drug and “does not have established safety or efficacy for the treatment of any condition,” according to the Gilead website.
“Additional ongoing international Phase 3 clinical trials continue to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Veklury for the treatment of COVID-19, in different patient populations and formulations, and in combination with other therapies,” a Thursday press release from the company said.
Aside from his Remdesivir treatment, President Trump also took an 8-gram dose of a polyclonal antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2, from pharmaceutical company Regeneron, on Friday night, according to a memo from the White House.
Trump has also been taking “zinc, vitamin D, famotidine, melatonin and a daily aspirin,” the memo said.