In Sweden, people who have become seriously ill by the coronavirus, for the first time been treated with a medicine that has been developed to address another very dangerous disease: Ebola.
It reports the Swedish radioavis Ekot.
There is talk about the medicine Remdesivir, which is not approved. But a derogation is granted by the Swedish food and drug administration to use it.
A small number of hard sick in Sweden have been treated with Remdesivir.
Anders Sönnerborg is chairman of an expert group of doctors in the viral therapy (RAV). He says to Ekot, that he is a cautious optimist.
- Yes, you know, to Remdesivir has a very good effect in reagensglasforsøg on this virus and its relatives. You also know that the drug has effect on the sars virus and the mers virus.
the Sars and mers was also a coronavirus.
Ebola is due to an infection with a virus and have had a scary walk through several african countries, most recently in the DRCongo in 2018. The disease can give internal bleeding, and the mortality rate is very high.
Remdesivir proved not to be effective enough against Ebola. That is why you started to test it on the Covid-19, which is the name for the disease, when you are hit by the coronavirus
Although Remdesivir is developed for Ebola, so the manufacturer has given permission to be included in a so-called 'compassionate use program', when there are no other medications to deal with.
But if it works, is too early to say, explains Sönnerborg. Remdesivir has been used only some days.
- The few Swedish patients, who have been given access to this drug, is seriously ill, and it is a step we take to improve their condition.
He adds that the lack of more comprehensive studies of how the drug works on coronaviruses.