Remdesivir Mixed Results, Studying Asymptomatics : COVID 19 Update

Mixed Results for Remdesivir in Moderate Disease

A 5-day course of remdesivir (Veklury) for hospitalized patients with moderate COVID-19 was associated with a statistically significant improvement compared with standard care in a company-sponsored randomized trial. However, experts said the clinical benefit of the drug in these patients is ambiguous given the small difference between trial groups.

In addition, patients randomly assigned to receive a longer, 10-day remdesivir course did not improve significantly, compared with those who received standard care, when they were assessed 11 days after treatment started.

This trial and two previously reported randomized trials all showed varied results with remdesivir, "raising the question of whether the discrepancies are artifacts of study design choices, including patient populations, or whether the drug is less efficacious than hoped," wrote two experts in an accompanying editorial.

Understanding Asymptomatic Infections

According to various estimates, between one fifth to nearly one half of people infected with SARS-CoV-2, and possibly more, never develop symptoms. Scientists don't know why.

The prevailing theory is that the immune systems of asymptomatic people fight off the virus so efficiently that they never get sick. But some scientists are also looking into a phenomenon called disease tolerance, in which an organism may accommodate an infection so seamlessly that no symptoms emerge, Undark reports.

More Clues on How COVID-19 Can Turn Immune System Against Us 

A history of age-related macular degeneration or thrombocytopenia, thrombosis, or hemorrhage are associated with greater risk for COVID-19 morbidity and mortality, new evidence suggests.

The findings emerge from research aimed at uncovering specific ways immune dysregulation contributes to more severe COVID-19. This deeper dive into mechanisms lurking behind poorer clinical outcomes implicates differences in complement and coagulation components of the immune system — both of which are involved in inflammation.

Famotidine Associated With Benefit for Hospitalized Patients 

Administering famotidine to hospitalized COVID-19 patients was associated with a reduction in death and a composite endpoint of either death or intubation, according to an observational study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Of the 878 patients included in the study, 83 (9.5%) received famotidine, and those patients were slightly younger than the patients who did not receive the drug.

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