Remdesivir

April 06, 2020
The jury is out on my effectiveness against COVID-19.
What molecule am I?

Remdesivir is an antivirus drug that was developed by Gilead Sciences (Foster City, CA) to combat the West African Ebola virus disease epidemic in the mid-2010s. It has also shown activity against the hemorrhagic fever Marburg virus (MARV), the Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS-coV), and the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-coV).

Within months after the outbreak of the current COVID-19 viral pandemic, researchers began to evaluate the ability of remdesivir to overcome the corresponding virus, SARS-CoV-2. Of the five Phase III trials that have begun to date, two are being conducted in China, one by the US National Institutes of Health, and two by Gilead. All of these trials focus on patients who have severe and moderate cases of the disease.

The consensus in the medical community is that the trials won’t give definitive results. Researchers are optimistic, though, that remdesivir will help some patients. But according to H. Clifford Lane, the clinical director at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who is overseeing the NIH trial, “The studies might give us some hint, but I do think it will be important to get a study launched that focuses on early disease.”

In addition to the clinical trials, and because of remdesivir’s proven success against other viruses, it is being sought as a compassionate alternative for patients with COVID-19. The Washington Post recently featured an article about families who are seeking experimental treatments.

See the latest issue of Chemical & Engineering News for more extensive information on remdesivir clinical trials.

Remdesivir hazard information

Hazard class* Hazard statement
Not a hazardous substance or mixture  

 *Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals.

Remdesivir fast facts

CAS Reg. No. 1809249-37-3
SciFinder
nomenclature
L-Alanine, N-[(S)-hydroxyphenoxy-phosphinyl]-, 2-ethylbutyl ester, 6-ester with 2-C-(4-aminopyrrolo[2,1-f][1,2,4]triazin-7-yl)-2,5-anhydro-D-altrononitrile
Empirical formula C27H35N6O8P
Molar mass 602.58 g/mol
Appearance White to off-white crystalline powder
Melting point N/A
Water solubility Very slightly soluble
Chemical Abstract Service - a division of ACS

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