Top New York infectious disease expert Dr. Barry Zingman confirmed on Monday that new coronavirus treatment remdesivir is showing “very compelling” results in a clinical trial at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.
The drug was approved by the FDA under an emergency use authorization, Trump announced on Friday.
Remdesivir is an experimental antiviral that hasn’t been approved for use for any other conditions as of yet. When buzz about antimalarial hydroxychloroquine began to fade, remdesivir roared onto the scene.
The FDA approved the drug after a National Institutes of Health study found that the drug reduced hospital stays for coronavirus patients by over 30 percent.
After the preliminary study was published and FDA approval was granted, Montefiore launched its clinical trial.
Zingman said the hospital’s study “is probably the largest trial that will ever be done …. with over 1,000 people in it, so that gives us great confidence that what we’re finding is real and will continue.”
“The decrease in hospitalization, the [number of] days of hospitalization, as well as the decrease in mortality, is very clinically significant to people with COVID-19 and their families, and it is quite convincing,” he continued.
“We are still in the middle of analyzing the data, but we expect that these results will persist as we get more and more data in.”
Top White House infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci also expressed optimism about the utility of the new drug, saying last week that “The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recover,” and hailed it as the “new standard of care.”
Due to the fact that remdesivir is an experimental drug and that the demand has skyrocketed, Zingman said that access to the medication can be “fairly limited.”
“One [way to access it] is through clinical trials and there are various clinical trials going on throughout the United States and around the world,” Zingman told Fox’s Ed Henry. “Another is expanded access. Another is the emergency use authorization.”
It appears as though shortages have not phased Zingman’s optimism, as he added, “My understanding is that as Gilead is able to produce more and more drug. They will be sending more and more drug out to the federal government, to hospitals around the world.”