As reported on Thursday, August 6, 2020, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD – one of the world’s foremost medical research agencies – has begun the first large randomized controlled trial of the combination of interferon beta-1a and remdesivir for treating COVID-19.
This clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of the antiviral remdesivir plus interferon beta-1a is anticipated to enroll more than 1,000 hospitalized adults with COVID-19 at nearly 100 sites in the United States and abroad.
Interferon beta-1a, a medication manufactured by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, is approved in the U.S. and more than 90 other countries for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Interferon beta-1a has the same amino acid sequence as a naturally occurring protein interferon beta, which is part of the type 1 interferons.
The rationale behind the combination of interferon beta-1a and remdesivir
Cover Image Credit: Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles (yellow), isolated from a patient sample. The black area in the image is extracellular space between the cells. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. NIAID.