(HealthDay News) — A 3-day course of remdesivir results in a lower risk for hospitalization or death compered with placebo among nonhospitalized patients at high risk for COVID-19 progression, according to a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Robert L. Gottlieb, MD, PhD, from the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues conducted a randomized trial involving nonhospitalized patients with COVID-19 with symptom onset within the previous 7 days and with at least 1 risk factor for disease progression. Patients were randomly assigned to receive intravenous remdesivir (200 mg on day 1; 100 mg on days 2 and 3) or placebo (279 and 283 patients, respectively).

The researchers found that 2 patients in the remdesivir group and 15 in the placebo group had COVID-19-related hospitalization or death (0.7 vs 5.3%; hazard ratio, 0.13). By day 28, 1.6 and 8.3% of patients in the remdesivir and placebo groups, respectively, had a COVID-19-related medically attended visit (hazard ratio, 0.19); there were no deaths by day 28. Adverse events occurred in 42.3 and 46.3% of those in the remdesivir and placebo groups, respectively.

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“In the campaign toward ending the COVID-19 pandemic, these data add yet another option to the armamentarium for the treatment of vulnerable patients who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19,” the authors write.

The study was funded by Gilead Sciences, the manufacturer of remdesivir.

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