"The fact that it was an antiviral that showed some benefit in certain trials - but not in all trials - was enough to push people to want to use it because we had no tools, but I do think it probably will be supplanted shortly", Adalja said, adding that the indication for drugs can change over time.
World Health Organization has issued a conditional recommendation against the use of remdesivir in hospitalized patients, regardless of disease severity, as there is now no evidence that remdesivir improves survival and other outcomes in these patients.
Scratching one of the few treatments that had shown some initial promise in severe patients, a WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG) of worldwide experts said there was "no evidence based on now available data that it does improve patient-important outcomes".More news: Hair Dye Seemingly Drips Down Rudy Giuliani's Face During Bizarre Press Conference
It was given emergency use authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States on May 1 and taken by US President Donald Trump when he was admitted to hospital with COVID-19 in early October. Gilead Sciences announced preliminary results of a drug trial with that showed at least 50% of patients with coronavirus that treated with a five-day dosage of remdesivir improved and more than half were released from the hospital within two weeks.
Last month, the World Health Organization said that its Solidarity study proved that the candidate had little to no effect in helping patients' chances of survival, although other studies found it to shorten the recovery time.
Publishing updated treatment guidance in the BMJ medical journal, the panel acknowledged that their recommendation does not mean that remdesivir has no benefit for patients.More news: Capacity 'stretched' as Nunavut dealt with soaring COVID-19 cases: Doctor's best
Gilead said last month that the drug had boosted its third quarter sales by about $900 million. FDA typically convenes such a panel before deciding whether to approve a drug in situations where there are questions arising from clinical trial data. Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Katsunobu Kato, said Friday there's no need for the nation, which gave its nod in May, to review remdesivir's approval at this time.
After reviewing the evidence, the panel said, it concluded that remdesivir, which has to be given intravenously and is therefore costly and complex to administer, has no meaningful effect on death rates or other important outcomes for patients.
"The panel felt the responsibility should be on demonstrating evidence of efficacy, which is not established by the now available data", it said.More news: Ontario to get 2.4 million COVID-19 vaccines in early 2021: Elliott