Coronaviruses are not a new phenomenon for Carolina researchers Ralph Baric and Timothy Sheahan.
Before COVID-19 hit the world, Baric and Sheahan were already testing remdesivir as a potential drug to combat coronavirus replication, thanks to a partnership with biotech company Gilead Sciences. According to Baric, an analysis from partner biotech company Gilead Sciences suggests that remdesivir reduces the risk of mortality from COVID-19 by 62%, an important finding that requires confirmation in additional clinical trials.
“It’s so gratifying to see the work we’ve done at Carolina help pave the way for this drug to be used in humans,” Sheahan says. “I’m really proud of our team.”
Additional antiviral drugs are being tested at Carolina as well, such as EIDD-2801, an oral drug with the goal of knocking down viral loads in COVID-19 patients.
“This drug is still in the early stages, but it’s promising,” said Sheahan. “It’s also exciting that the preclinical work to enable human clinical trials was done at Carolina and that the clinical trial is also taking place here. Carolina is literally a lab-bench-to-bedside one-stop shop.”