Gilead Sciences is to launch a clinical trial on an inhaled form of remdesivir which it says could be used to treat Covid-19 patients outside of hospital settings.
Remdesivir, an exploratory antiviral drug, has been shown to reduce recovery times in coronavirus patients suffering from respiratory problems. It is one of only two drugs approved by health authorities in the UK to treat the disease.
The drug is administered intravenously to the most patients, but Gilead is to test whether it is effective if breathed directly into the lungs through a nebulizer – a device commonly used by asthma patients.
The US-based trial will include around 60 healthy adults aged 18-45 and will first test how patients react to the inhaled solution.
Gilead said that if the trial is successful, the vaporised treatment could be rolled out across outpatient services – such as GPs surgeries – to medicate patients who don’t need hospital treatment.
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