Gilead Sciences has reported that its therapy Veklury (remdesivir) showed to retain antiviral activity against ten variants, including Omicron, of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

A nucleotide analog, Veklury is the antiviral standard of care to treat Covid-19 in hospitalised patients. 

It is a recommended therapy to reduce the disease progression in non-hospitalised patients who are at increased progression risk. 

Results from the studies conducted by the company are in line with other in vitro studies carried out by researchers from institutions in other countries, including the US, Czech Republic and Belgium.

They established the antiviral activity of Veklury against various viral variants, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron.

To assess in vitro antiviral activity, the study used two approaches to realise the susceptibility of ten viral variants to Veklury. 

According to the findings, Veklury demonstrated similar activity against the variants and a WA1 strain. 

Furthermore, Delta and Omicron variants, in particular, were completely susceptible to Veklury indicating that the antiviral was active against all key variants.

In October 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the usage of Veklury to treat Covid-19 in adults and paediatric patients aged 12 years and above who need hospital admission. 

In January, the FDA cleared the supplemental new drug application (sNDA) for Veklury for expanding indication to treat non-hospitalised adult and adolescent patients who are at increased disease progression risk, including hospital admission or mortality. 

Gilead Sciences Virology Research senior vice-president Tomas Cihlar said: “These results provide evidence of the consistent and durable antiviral activity of remdesivir across known variants that have emerged throughout the pandemic, including Omicron and support its continued use for the treatment of Covid-19 for current SARS-CoV-2 variants. 

“Now with a new version of Omicron (BA.2 subvariant) increasing in circulation around the world, these latest data also suggest that remdesivir will retain antiviral activity against this new subvariant because the viral RNA polymerase that remdesivir targets does not contain any additional unique mutations.”