Trials of remdesivir start in the UK
The drug remdesivir that could help treat coronavirus is to be trialled on a small number of patients in England and Scotland, BBC reports.
The studies, which have been fast-tracked by the government, will initially involve 15 NHS centres.
Two studies are to be carried out in the UK - one on patients with moderate symptoms, and one on those who are in a serious condition.
Experimental drugs tested globally
A handful of experimental drugs are being tested globally.
Trials are already underway in China and the US, with the first results expected in the coming weeks.
The UK trials will be based in England and Scotland and overseen by Dr Andrew Ustianowski, a consultant in infectious diseases.
Remdesivir was developed for 10 years
The drug, known as remdesivir, is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Gilead.
Coronaviruses are an important category of virus because when we've seen them jump from animals to humans previously they've caused a lot of problems as with SARS and MERS. So remdesivir was a product we had looked at against SARS and MERS and seen that it had some activity, and that's why we thought it was really important to see if it has a role to play in treating patients with COVID-19 as quickly as we can”, Hilary Hutton-Squire, the company's General Manager in the UK and Ireland commented for BBC.
Remdesivir has been considered as a potential treatment for Ebola.
The drug is designed to interfere with the way a virus reproduces, thereby stopping it from multiplying inside the body.