Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust have been trialling the drug Remdesivir with Covid-19 infected patients.
The trial has been conducted at the trust in parallel with trials conducted in healthcare organisations around the world on behalf of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAD).
The trials have shown that patients infected with Covid-19 who had Remdesivir administered to them, recovered a third faster than those on placebo.
Remdesivir is yet to be approved for use, however early indications are that ‘the drug is safe and effective.’
Therapeutics company Gilead are the developers of the drug initially in response to Ebola.
Development of Remdesivir has been ongoing over the last 10 years.
The drug has previously been used in other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS.
The trust state that ‘one of the first patients in the country to receive the drug was treated at Castle Hill Hospital and is now at home recovering.
‘So far, ten patients have taken part in the trial which is being conducted on the infectious diseases ward.’
Professor Alyn Morice, who leads the trials unit in Hull, said:
“There is a long way to go in testing this drug before it can be approved for general use but our trial certainly indicates that we have reason to be optimistic that Remdesivir is effective.
“In general terms, the patients we treated with the drug are recovering much faster than expected.
“I have personally just recovered from Covid-19 myself and it was extremely unpleasant, so while we are cautious about this drug anything which might help patients is very welcome news.”
Patrick Lillie, Infectious Diseases Consultant at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and lead clinician for the trial, said:
“We are seeing the impact that Covid-19 has on our patients every day.
“For those in hospital it isn’t an easy experience at all, and clearly some people are symptomatic for weeks not days.
“The Infectious Diseases team are really pleased to have been involved in this early trial of Remdesivir but we must stress that it is not available to use at the present time.”