Researchers are exploring whether Gilead Sciences' remdesivir, the first drug to prove capable of helping fight COVID-19, can be combined with other antiviral medications for a more effective coronavirus-fighting cocktail, reported The Wall Street Journal.
Six COVID-19 drug studies currently under way specify testing remdesivir with another medicine, according to Informa Pharma Intelligence, while five other trials are of drugs that would be given together with whatever a hospital uses as standard treatment, which increasingly means remdesivir.
The news source noted that Gilead is also studying new formulations of remdesivir so patients can take it outside of a hospital.
Remdesivir's standard use in COVID-19 "can be misleading because it suggests this is very, very good therapy, but it isn't," said Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), "it's standard because it's better than nothing."
Researchers conducting NIAID's trial of the drug are now testing it in combination with Eli Lilly's arthritis therapy baricitinib, which is sold under the brand name Olumiant.
Meanwhile, a study evaluating Roche's arthritis drug Actemra is designed to include patients receiving antivirals like remdesivir as part of their care, said Mark Eisner, a senior vice president at the company's Genentech unit overseeing Actemra's clinical development.
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