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Perspective

Remdesivir for Early COVID-19 Treatment of High-Risk Individuals Prior to or at Early Disease Onset—Lessons Learned

1
Institute for Virology and Immunobiology, Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, 97078 Würzburg, Germany
2
Helmholtz-Institute for RNA-Based Infection Research, 97080 Würzburg, Germany
3
Department of Tropical Medicine, Klinikum Würzburg Mitte, 97074 Würzburg, Germany
4
Technical University of Munich, School of Medicine, University Hospital Rechts der Isar, Department of Internal Medicine II, 81675 Munich, Germany
5
German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), Partner Site Munich, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Meehyein Kim
Viruses 2021, 13(6), 963; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13060963
Received: 27 April 2021 / Revised: 14 May 2021 / Accepted: 17 May 2021 / Published: 22 May 2021
After more than one year of the COVID-19 pandemic, antiviral treatment options against SARS-CoV-2 are still severely limited. High hopes that had initially been placed on antiviral drugs like remdesivir have so far not been fulfilled. While individual case reports provide striking evidence for the clinical efficacy of remdesivir in the right clinical settings, major trials failed to demonstrate this. Here, we highlight and discuss the key findings of these studies and underlying reasons for their failure. We elaborate on how such shortcomings should be prevented in future clinical trials and pandemics. We suggest in conclusion that any novel antiviral agent that enters human trials should first be tested in a post-exposure setting to provide rapid and solid evidence for its clinical efficacy before initiating further time-consuming and costly clinical trials for more advanced disease. In the COVID-19 pandemic this might have established remdesivir early on as an efficient antiviral agent at a more suitable disease stage which would have saved many lives, in particular in large outbreaks within residential care homes. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; antiviral treatment; remdesivir COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; antiviral treatment; remdesivir
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dölken, L.; Stich, A.; Spinner, C.D. Remdesivir for Early COVID-19 Treatment of High-Risk Individuals Prior to or at Early Disease Onset—Lessons Learned. Viruses 2021, 13, 963. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13060963

AMA Style

Dölken L, Stich A, Spinner CD. Remdesivir for Early COVID-19 Treatment of High-Risk Individuals Prior to or at Early Disease Onset—Lessons Learned. Viruses. 2021; 13(6):963. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13060963

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dölken, Lars, August Stich, and Christoph D. Spinner. 2021. "Remdesivir for Early COVID-19 Treatment of High-Risk Individuals Prior to or at Early Disease Onset—Lessons Learned" Viruses 13, no. 6: 963. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13060963

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