NIH to study remdesivir as COVID-19 treatment in pregnant women

The National Institutes of Health will study how pregnant COVID-19 patients metabolize and tolerate remdesivir, the research center announced Feb. 17.

Remdesivir has not been expressly approved for use in pregnant COVID-19 patients due to a lack of data on its safety and efficacy in the population; it is left up to their physicians' discretion.

The study, which will take place at 17 U.S. sites, will compare remdesivir use in pregnant and non-pregnant patients of reproductive age who are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Researchers will analyze samples from the plasma and umbilical cord for participants who receive the drug within five days of their infant's delivery, as this will help them understand how remdesivir is absorbed and broken down in the placenta. Breast milk will be analyzed as well in participants who are lactating.

"Pregnant women with COVID-19 are at high risk for hospitalization, for intensive care admission and for needing ventilator support," Diana Bianchi, MD, director of NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said in a news release. "There is an urgent need to identify effective treatments for this population and to determine whether drugs prescribed for other adults are appropriate for use in pregnancy."

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