Can Remdesivir outwit the 2019 novel coronavirus ?

Related Products: Remdesivir

In response to the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus, scientific research institutions and pharmaceutical companies around the world are stepping up vaccine research and development and testing of antiviral drugs. Some new technologies for the development of viral vaccines are expected to shorten the development time of new coronavirus vaccines, the researchers said. In addition, researchers from various countries are also stepping up the screening of a number of drug candidates for clinical treatment of patients with pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus.

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus

The 2019 Novel coronavirus, is abbreviated as 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization, commonly referred to as new coronavirus. It is a positive-stranded single-stranded RNA coronavirus with envelope, which is the pathogen of pneumonia caused by new coronavirus at the end of 2019. During the outbreak, researchers discovered the virus after nucleic acid testing and the genome sequencing of samples from positive patients with pneumonia. Coronavirus is also the “culprit” that caused previous outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Researchers say research and technological advances in SARS coronavirus and MERS coronavirus will help develop new coronavirus vaccines.


Remdesivir is a new experimental broad-spectrum antiviral drug developed by Gilead Science Co., Ltd., which is considered to effectively inhibit the replication of the SARS virus and MERS virus in respiratory epithelial cells. This is a nucleotide analog prodrug that can inhibit RNA-dependent RNA synthetase (RdRp). According to a 2020 research, the combination of remdesivir and interferon IFNb1-b has a significant effect on MERS. Although the drug is still in phase III clinical trials against Ebola, there is speculation that it is currently the most ideal drug for the 2019 new coronavirus. The authoritative medical journal New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) published a paper online on January 31, 2020, introducing the diagnosis, treatment and clinical manifestations of the first confirmed case of new coronavirus in the United States. On the seventh night of hospitalization, the patient received an intravenous infusion of remdesivir. On the eighth day, the patient’s clinical symptoms showed immediate improvement. He no longer needs oxygen, and his oxygen saturation has returned to 94%-96%. He has no other symptoms except a dry cough and a runny nose. The clinical trial of remdesivir in the treatment of new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was launched at Beijing China-Japan Friendship Hospital on February 3. The total sample size was 270 patients with mild to moderate new crown pneumonia.


At present, no treatment for the new coronavirus has been officially approved on the market. The existing treatment is to help people infected with the virus control their symptoms in order to help their bodies fight the virus. Researchers around the world are working hard to study how coronaviruses replicate themselves in cells and how they cause disease, which will lay the foundation for the development of new vaccines and antiviral drugs. Gilead is actively communicating with researchers and clinicians in the United States and China about the outbreak of new coronavirus infection in Wuhan, and discussing the possibility of using Remdesivir for treatment, and follow-up plans, including cooperation with regulators, are also underway. Although the drug is not yet on the market, emergency use can be considered if it is confirmed to be effective in a special period.


1. Du Toit, A. (2020). Outbreak of a novel coronavirus. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 1-1.

2. Cohen, J. (2020). New coronavirus threat galvanizes scientists.

3. Benvenuto, D., Giovannetti, M., Ciccozzi, A., Spoto, S., Angeletti, S., & Ciccozzi, M. (2020). The 2019‐new coronavirus epidemic: evidence for virus evolution. Journal of Medical Virology.

4. Sheahan, T. P., Sims, A. C., Leist, S. R., Schäfer, A., Won, J., Brown, A. J., … & Spahn, J. E. (2020). Comparative therapeutic efficacy of remdesivir and combination lopinavir, ritonavir, and interferon beta against MERS-CoV. Nature Communications11(1), 1-14.

Related Products: Remdesivir