President Donald Trump is receiving the antiviral drug Remdesivir, as well as an artificial antibody treatment REGN-COV2. Pioneering trials in the UK have been touted as having shown “very promising” results.
“It is currently available in about three hospitals in the North, and we’ll be rolling it out next week to another 30 or 40 hospitals,” Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases at the University of Oxford, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“It’s an artificial antibody and a cocktail of two antibodies. It’s designed so it binds strongly to a protein on the surface of the virus. It helps prevent the virus from attaching to the cells, entering the cells and replicating. It also helps our own immune system to attack and kill the virus,” said the Professor.
BREAKING: Trump is now being given remdesivir (@GileadSciences). It’s shown to reduce illness duration but not (yet) shown to significantly lower mortality so far. At least better than the sketchy use of the no-evidence @Regeneron multi-monoclonal antibody earlier. #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/0ezaG8tPBV
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) October 3, 2020
“They’re pretty safe and well understood. This particular drug has probably been given to 400 or 500 mild or severe patients in different trials and so far there’s been no worrying safety signals,” Professor Horby was cited as saying.
“In the laboratory in cell cultures it has a very strong effect against the virus and there have been some studies of artificially infected animals in which it showed benefit. Of the drugs available, it’s one of the most promising.”