BETHESDA, Md. - A glimmer of hope?
Tonight, Dr. Anthony Fauci says clinical trials of a potential COVID-19 treatment showed “quite good news.”
The drug – called Remdesivir – showed patients treated with it recovered faster than patients who weren’t.
A patient at National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, John Vipulus, is doing “a lot better” after he was treated with the drug.
Vipulus tested positive on March 22. He says his decline was “fast and scary.”
He was transferred from Suburban Hospital to an NIH Isolation Unit on March 30. He was included in an NIH Remdesivir study group, which he believes saved his life.
“Yes I think if I did not have the Remdesivir treatment my recovery process would have been a lot harder. When I was coughing your whole body would just start shaking, it just took over everything you could feel it in your stomach and you couldn’t think of anything except trying to breathe again,” Vipulus said.
Vipulus already dealt with asthma and a blood disorder that put him in a high-risk group.
While he was part of the study, he’s not 100 percent sure whether he was treated with the drug in the control group. But, given his recovery, he’s convinced he was.
At the White House today, Fauci briefed the president on the study, which was conducted at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.
Fauci is the director at the facility – and he says the results are promising.
“The data shows that Remdesivir has a clear cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery. This is really quite important for a number of reasons and I'll give you the data. It's highly significant. If you look at the time to recovery being shorter on the Remdesivir arm, it was 11 days compared to 15 days,” Fauci said.
Fauci says Remdesivir shows about a 31 percent improvement in patients. And while that isn’t a 100 percent knockout punch, it’s important because the study has proven that the drug can block the virus.
Vipulus is now coronavirus free – NIH discharged him on April 10 after three negative tests.