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Remdesivir has Double Benefit

The antiviral drug remdesivir is already known to inhibit the virus’ ability to replicate, but researchers now say it can also act as a roadblock against the spread of coronavirus in the body.

Recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, University of Alberta researchers released findings that the antiviral drug remdesivir has more uses than originally thought in the fight against Covid-19.

Previously established as a drug that stops the virus from replicating, the research team discovered it can also prevent or delay the virus from spreading within the body.

Remdesivir currently has conditional approval from Health Canada for use in adults and adolescents with severe Covid-19 symptoms. Emergency or conditional authorization for the drug has been granted in other countries as well, including the United States, Japan, Singapore and Australia. "Remdesivir speeds up the time of recovery from 15 to 11 days. These randomized clinical trials, this is the gold standard to evaluate antiviral drugs," said U of A Professor Matthias Gotte, chair of medical microbiology and immunology.

Clinical trials of remdesivir are ongoing. Studies like this help doctors know how the drug can work in combination with others, and helps researchers get a better sense of how other treatments could work against the virus. Once a vaccine is found, treatment drugs such as remdesivir will still be important, as not everyone will be immunized right away.

Gotte noted that other treatments are undergoing clinical trials, and the pace with which researchers are finding potential treatments just months into the pandemic has been incredible.

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