Hepatic Disorders With the Use of Remdesivir for Coronavirus 2019.Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020 11; 18(12):2835-2836.CG
Remdesivir is a nucleotide analog prodrug with antiviral activity against a broad spectrum of human coronavirus in cell cultures and mouse models including severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus 2. Recently, the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended remdesivir for the treatment of patients hospitalized with severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection.1,2 In the remdesivir clinical development program, some cases have raised concerns regarding potential hepatobiliary disorders associated with remdesivir, including in healthy volunteers and patients with COVID-19.3 In cohort studies of patients hospitalized for severe COVID-19 who were treated with compassionate-use remdesivir, elevated hepatic enzymes were the most frequent adverse drug reaction reported.4,5 In the first randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial assessing the effect of intravenous remdesivir in adults admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 (n = 237), a higher proportion of remdesivir recipients than placebo recipients had dosing prematurely stopped by the investigators because of adverse events including aminotransferase or bilirubin increases (3 versus 0).6 Although there is no signal from the available data of severe hepatotoxicity or drug-induced liver injury in clinical trials, the number of patients exposed to remdesivir was too limited. Therefore, there is an urgent need to investigate the hepatic safety profile associated with remdesivir in COVID-19 patients.