Experimental Drug Helps Some Americans Ride Out Coronavirus, NIH Doctor Says - (The Wall Street Journal via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Gilead Sciences' remdesivir appeared to have an effect in US cruise passengers treated for COVID-19 in Japan, although data are limited, reported The Wall Street Journal.

  • Richard Childs, an assistant surgeon general and lung specialist at the US National Institutes of Health, said 14 Americans who contracted SARS-CoV-2 on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were treated at Japanese hospitals with the experimental antiviral.

  • According to Childs, the patients were "critically ill people and their average age is 75," adding that "many of them were probably going to die in a short amount of time, and two weeks later nobody has died and more than half of them have recovered."

  • He called the results "absolutely amazing," but cautioned that "it's going to take us a while to figure out what the impact of the drug has been."

  • The drug is being tested in the US and Asia by independent groups as well as Gilead, but no large-scale results are available.

  • Remdesivir is administered intravenously once a day for 10 days, with a higher dose the first day. Childs said he noticed patients needed less support from a ventilator after getting the drug.

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