How Does Gilead's Remdesivir Work for CoronaVirus - Covid19 and SARS

How does remdesivir work for coronavirus covid19 and sars


First, an important point.  The FDA has not approved or tested CBD for coronavirus or Covid19.  We're only going to look at pathways affected by CBD on immune response to viral infection in research only.  



China's initial reaction to shut down its entire economy (the bedrock of the government's cling to power) was telling.


This wasn't the flu.


In a general article on many natural antivirals (most of which are hard to get now), there was a section on Gilead's drug, Remdesivir.


Within a few weeks, this drug may be a household name if we can agree on how to pronounce it.


It's an HIV drug primarily.  We'll get into how it works but its effectiveness (shown early in Singapore back in Jan 2020) points to our real worry about the newest SARS virus while everyone was saying "it's just the flu".


We'll explain why this is not the case unless the flu suddenly learned some very novel (and scary) tricks.


Let's cover the following: 

  • The HIV angle to coronavirus
  • How Gilead's Remdesivir works with coronavirus
  • Other pathways for coronavirus we can actually affect in addition to Remdesivir 

The HIV angle to coronavirus 

First, there are countless numbers of coronaviruses that span both humans and animals.


They are a subtype of a virus with a distinctive shape (round core with long spires sticking off.


By now, we're all familiar with the general look.


They're behind the common cold so we've been around the general class forever now.


Virus are very sloppy translators of genetic code so they make mistakes and mutations all the time.


This is why we never really build a total immunity to the coronavirus family as a whole.


The same thing can be said for influenza (flu virus - different families).


There are distinct mutations or differences with the SARS members of this family that make it particularly dangerous. 

  • It has an affinity for ACE2 receptors in our lungs/heart
  • It has proteins generally associated with HIV


There are two main criteria to gauge whether a coronavirus is dangerous or not. 

  • How contagious are they (the R naught aspect - 1 person can infect 3 more, etc)
  • How pathogenic or dangerous are they once caught


The current coronavirus is estimated to have a pretty common contagiousness but the pathogenic or danger aspect is very different.


This translates into mortality or morbidity.  Essentially the chance of dying or getting very sick (hospital, etc).


Let's focus on the danger side since estimates are that roughly 60% of the population will eventually get coronavirus.


That's the magic number or so-called herd immunity where the virus starts to lose new fertile ground and slows down (until mutations allow a more muted return next season).


We covered the ACE2 receptors in our CBD and immune response to viruses but let's look at the HIV angle.


We'll leave whether this was engineered via p-shuttle technology, etc to virologist but what's different about coronavirus?


There are four protein inserts which have a similarity to HIV proteins.  This could have come from HIV itself or occurred naturally in other coronavirus mutations.


This points to early work in Thailand and Japan to use HIV drugs to counter severe cases of coronavirus.


The woman had shown no improvement in her condition for 10 days after testing positive for the virus, but she recovered within 48 hours of receiving the treatment, according to the ministry.


The drugs in question were called protease inhibitors which interfere with the virus's ability to replicate.


This class of medication is what has allowed HIV to be a managed diseases versus a life sentence over the past few decades.


That brings us to the buzz behind Gilead's HIV medication, Remdesivir.


How does it work?

How Gilead's Remdesivir works with coronavirus 

NIH is speeding trials of Remdesivir for coronavirus as we speak.


Why all the buzz?


Remdesivir has shown effectiveness with a virus very similar to Covid19 like MERS (another coronavirus):

Remdesivir Prevents MERS Coronavirus Disease in Monkeys


As they found: 

Remdesivir prevented disease when administered before infection and improved the condition of macaques when given after the animals already were infected.


14 patients from the Diamond Princess were treated with Remdesivir by the Japanese government with positive results which is why we need a more thorough study (the NIH trial above).


What does Remdesivir do?


From a 30,000 foot view, Remdesivir gums up the protein building work of viruses.


Think of an assembly line where viruses are laying down proteins to make more components.


Remdesevir resembles one of these proteins and gets put down.  


Using polymerase enzymes from the coronavirus that causes MERS, scientists in Götte’s lab found that the enzymes can incorporate Remdesivir, which resembles an RNA building block, into new RNA strands.


It messes up the whole component though and researchers theorize the following:


The scientists hypothesize that this might happen because RNA containing Remdesivir takes on a strange shape that does not fit into the enzyme.


Remdesevir resembles adenosine, a building block that viruses use to make more viral material.


Remdesivir is an adenosine analog, which incorporates into nascent viral RNA chains and results in premature termination.


In fact, very recent research is pointing to Remdesivir's effect directly on coronavirus: 

Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro


That study is interesting as they tested a range of similar medications.


The other stand out was Hydroxychloroquine which we covered separately in review since it may be an interesting tool.


More importantly, we found research pointing to quercetin which shares a pathway with hydroxychloroquine here.


Back to Remdesivier!


So essentially, Remdesivir is structured like a broken chain in the virus machinery for making new viruses!


You can check out natural antivirals and CBD's effect on immune response here.


Always work with a doctor or naturopath with any supplement!

The information provided here is not intended to treat an illness or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified healthcare provider.


Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published