Remdesivir, possible hope for COVID-19?

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Remdesivir, possible hope for COVID-19?
Fourth and ffth from the left: drg. Arianti Anaya, MKM, and Rogelio Paulino Jr. Castillo La O. (Photo: Esti/IO)

IO – The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of so many people worldwide. Despite the high number of deaths, experts around the globe work hard to create and ensure the availability of vaccines and other medications to save the lives of those infected and suffering. Therefore, our Ministry of Health, represented by its Director General of Pharmacy and Medical Equipment drg. Arianti Anaya, MKM., gladly welcomed a donation of 10,000 vials of Veklury (Remdesivir) from Gilead Sciences Inc. on Monday (25/10/2021).

“We thank PT Soho Industri Pharmasi for its efforts in bridging the Ministry with Gilead Sciences Inc., culminating with the donation of its Veklury (Remdesivir) to help mitigate COVID-19 in Indonesia. Gilead donates this drug to COVID-19 reference hospitals with Isolation Wards and ICUs, as it is
meant to treat COVID-19 patients suffering from medium to heavy intensity of the disease,” dr. Arianti stated, as she symbolically received the drugs donated from Rogelio Paulino Jr. Castillo La O, President Director of PT Soho Global Health.

Gilead has donated 450,000 Veklury vials to India, 10,000 to Georgia and 3,000 vial to Armenia. Veklury is authorized for temporary use in 50 countries around the world. Gilead’s voluntary licensing program provides nine manufacturers with the long-term license necessary to access, produce, and distribute generic Remdesivir in 127 countries. Most of these countries are low- and medium-income countries, including Indonesia. The
license is royalty-free as an expression of Gilead’s commitment to provide as much access as possible to drugs for needy patients.

Veklury and generic Remdesivir is now available for more than 7
million patients worldwide, through this free license program. The drug
is based on Gilead’s antivirus research for over a decade. It has
both in vitro and in vivo wide-spectrum antivirus activity against
virus pathogens in test animals, including Ebola, SARS, Marburg,
and MERS.

It works by directly obstructing the replication of the SARS-CoV-2
virus by targeting the virus polymerase RNA in the cell. When it
enters the body, Veklury is transformed into an active metabolite
of remdesivir triphosphate, which then enters the virus RNA and
stops its replication within the host’s cells. No variation of the virus is known to signifcantly alter its polymerase RNA.

In the United States, Veklury (Remdesivir 100 mg for injections) is indicated for adult and older child patients (12 years old and up) with a minimum weight of 40 kg for treatment of COVID-19 during hospitalization. It can only be administered in hospitals or other healthcare facilities that are
able to provide intensive treatment equal to hospitalization. It is counter-indicated against patients who are allergic to Veklury or any of its components. (est)