The value of the drug remdesivir as an anti-viral has been known for some time. It was developed to treat Ebola, but other treatments proved to be more effective and with that further development of the drug slowed down.
Then along came SARS-CoV-2 and the search was on for the best way to treat those infected with the virus. Attention turned back to remdesivir and Matthias Götte’s team at the University of Alberta was quick to see the drug’s potential.
With funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Gilead Sciences, and the Government of Alberta, the team set to work to determine exactly how the drug works against the new coronavirus, and they have just published their promising results in the Journal of Biological Chemistry
. The drug is the only direct-acting antiviral conditionally approved in Canada and the U.S. for use in treating COVID-19.
Matthias Götte is a virologist and chair of medical microbiology and immunology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at U of A. He talked with freelance broadcaster Don Hill about remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment.