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SARS-CoV-2 Resistance to Remdesivir Detected in Lab Study

SARS-CoV-2 can develop resistance to remdesivir during infection of cultured cells in the laboratory by more than one mechanism.

The results of the laboratory study led by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and published in the journal Science Translational Medicine on April 28 support the importance of monitoring for resistance in COVID-19 patients and identifying its mechanisms.

“We must be sure that we can continue to use this antiviral against COVID, future human coronaviruses and potentially even against our known human coronaviruses,” said Mark R. Denison, MD, an internationally known authority on coronavirus biology at VUMC who led the study with colleagues from the University of Alberta, Canada, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Gilead Sciences.

“So, it is critical to understand how coronaviruses might try to escape from the drug, and to use that data to monitor for any potential emergence of resistance in COVID-19 patients,” he added.

Denison’s lab and collaborators contributed to the initial development of remdesivir, which was approved by the U.S. FDA as the first drug treatment for COVID-19 in both hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients as young as 12.

Last month the FDA approved its use in high-risk children as young as 28 days.

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