Viral infections constitute the biggest pandemic threat in the modern
era due to lack of novel ‘broad-spectrum’ antiviral agents. Remdesivir
is newer antiviral drug acts as RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp)
inhibitor, targeting the viral genome replication process. Therapeutic
efficacy was first demonstrated by suppressing viral replication in
Ebola infected infected rhesus monkeys. Then further studies show its
efficacy against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)-CoV and Middle
East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). It is available for
parenteral application with reasonable safety and tolerability profile.
Recently the drug has received emergency use authorization from USFDA
for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in
adults and children hospitalized with severe disease due to lack of
other approved treatment options. Multiple clinical trials are going on
in many countries to evaluate its efficacy, safety and tolerability.
Results are awaited in most cases and if the drug becomes a success it
will be capable of meeting the demand generated by both the current
pandemic and future outbreak.