NIH: Testing Remdesivir Plus Interferon Beta 1a for COVID-19 Treatment


Health Editor’s Note: Finding cures and treatments for COVID-19 has begun at stage one with this novel or new virus. Much of the treatment for COVID-19 patients has been on the fly with trial and error methods. 

Remdesivir is an antiviral which has proven to cut the time a person is hospitalized with COVID-19. Remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults hospitalized with Covid-19 and evidence of lower respiratory tract infection. An inhaled remdesivir is being worked on to make the antiviral easier/more convenient to administer and because of avoiding the intravenous route, patients could be given remdesivir outside the hospital environment. 

With COVID-19 there is a hyper-inflammation of tissues/cells of organs. The inflammation process is a reaction to the virus and would normally be considered beneficial in the healing process except COVID-19 takes the inflammatory process and over does it.  This is where the potential use of interferon beta-1a comes in.  Currently interferon beta-1a is approved for use in the treatment for multiple sclerosis.  

Infected cells normally produce type 1 interferons to help the immune system fight pathogens, especially viruses. Interferon beta has both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19) suppresses the normal interferon response and that is why severe Covid-19 patients become so ill.  

It is expected that combining type 1 interferons with remdesivir will increase the ability of the body to withstand the hyperinflammatory properties of COVID-19, and heal more quickly…..Carol

NIH clinical trial testing remdesivir plus interferon beta-1a for COVID-19 treatment begins

NIH News Release

A randomized, controlled clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of a treatment regimen consisting of the antiviral remdesivir plus the immunomodulator interferon beta-1a in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun. The study, called the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial 3 (ACTT 3), is anticipated to enroll more than 1,000 hospitalized adults with COVID-19 at as many as 100 sites in the United States and abroad. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring the trial.

ACTT 3 is the third iteration of NIAID’s Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT). ACTT began on Feb. 21 to evaluate remdesivir, an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral discovered and developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc, of Foster City, California. A preliminary analysis of ACTT data found that patients who received remdesivir had a statistically significant shorter time to recovery compared to patients who received placebo. These results were published on May 22. More detailed information about the results, including more comprehensive data, will be available in a forthcoming report.

Subcutaneous 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. more:

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  1. Here is a link to a recent August 3rd article on Dexamethasone

  2. This would complicate the study. Those with severe respiratory symptoms would also benefit from the use of dexamethasone, I have been told. An anesthesiologist I work with who most likely had Covid-19 in Feb. gave this to his wife with severe respiratory symptoms and she had marked improvement. I read a positive report out of Europe claiming the benifits as well. I think that report came out in June, I have not heard much about this treatment since.

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