To date, no antiviral therapy has shown proven clinical effectiveness in treating patients with COVID-19. We assessed the efficacy of remdesivir in hospitalized Egyptian patients with COVID-19. Patients were randomly assigned at a 1:1 ratio to receive either remdesivir (200 mg on the first day followed by 100 mg daily for the next 9 days intravenously infused over 30–60 minutes) in addition to standard care or standard care alone. The primary outcomes were the length of hospital stay and mortality rate. The need for mechanical ventilation was assessed as a secondary outcome. Two hundred patients (100 in each group) completed the study and were included in the final analysis. The remdesivir group showed a significantly lower median duration of hospital stay (10 days) than the control group (16 days; P < 0.001). Eleven of the patients in the remdesivir group needed mechanical ventilation compared with eight patients in the control group (P = 0.469). The mortality rate was comparable between the two groups (P = 0.602). Mortality was significantly associated with older age, elevated C-reactive protein levels, elevated D-dimer, and the need for mechanical ventilation (P = 0.039, 0.003, 0.001, and < 0.001 respectively). Remdesivir had a positive influence on length of hospital stay, but it had no mortality benefit in Egyptian patients with COVID-19. Its use, in addition to standard care including dexamethasone, should be considered, particularly in low- and middle-income countries when other effective options are scarce.
Address correspondence to Sherief Abd-Elsalam, Department of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, El-Giash Street 31527, Tanta, Egypt. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org