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This is a summary of "Remdesivir in adults with severe COVID-19 - a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial"


Does remdesivir, an antiviral medication, speed up how quickly hospitalized COVID-19 patients get better?

In this study, researchers randomly administered either remdesivir or placebo to 237 patients. They found that remdesivir was safe to take but not associated with treatment benefits.

Key takeaways

In this rigorously conducted randomized controlled trial, 237 patients with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pneumonia who were admitted to the hospital in Hubei, China were randomized to receive either remdesivir or placebo. Remdesivir did not change the time to recovery or death rate in patients with COVID-19.

Why is this important?

There has been significant public interest in repurposing drugs that already exist to treat patients with COVID-19. One such drug, remdesivir, has already been studied rigorously in a Chinese trial sponsored by Gilead Sciences, Inc. Within the United States, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) issued a press release on April 29, 2020 touting the success of remdesivir in an American clinical trial. On May 22, 2020, the data from that trial was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. That study will be covered in a future Resaerch Explained summary.

What did the study do?

How was it reported?

Original Paper DOI10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31022-9

Remdesivir in adults with severe COVID-19 - a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial [PDF]

Additional Reading

For more details and technical discussion of the study, we recommend reading the following resources:

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