Remdesivir in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) treatment: a review of evidence

Infection. 2021 Jun;49(3):401-410. doi: 10.1007/s15010-020-01557-7. Epub 2021 Jan 2.


COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a novel β-coronavirus, belonging to the same subgenus as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus. Remdesivir, an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral agent has previously demonstrated in vitro activity against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), and in vivo efficacy against other related coronaviruses in animal models. Its safety profile has been tested in a compassionate use setting for patients with COVID-19. The current therapeutic studies demonstrate clinical effectiveness of remdesivir in COVID-19 patients by shortening time to clinical recovery, and hospital stay. In this review, we critically analyze the current evidence of remdesivir against COVID-19 and dissect the aspects over its safety and efficacy. Based on existing data, remdesivir can be regarded as a potential therapeutic agent against COVID-19. Further large-scale, randomized placebo-controlled clinical trials are, however, awaited to validate these findings.

Keywords: COVID-19; Hui Xian Jaime Lin and Sanda Cho shared the first authorship; Remdesivir; SAR-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Monophosphate / analogs & derivatives*
  • Adenosine Monophosphate / therapeutic use
  • Alanine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Alanine / therapeutic use
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2 / drug effects
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • remdesivir
  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Alanine