News Release

Neither remdesivir nor HCQ affect viral clearance in hospitalized patients with COVID-19

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine

Peer-Reviewed Publication

American College of Physicians

Below please find summaries of new articles that will be published in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The summaries are not intended to substitute for the full articles as a source of information. This information is under strict embargo and by taking it into possession, media representatives are committing to the terms of the embargo not only on their own behalf, but also on behalf of the organization they represent.

Neither remdesivir nor HCQ affect viral clearance in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 Abstract:

URL goes live when the embargo lifts

NOR-Solidarity, an independent, add-on, randomized controlled trial to the World Health Organization (WHO) Solidarity trial, found that neither remdesivir nor hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) affected viral clearance in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. The WHO Solidarity trial showed no effect of remdesivir or hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) on mortality but did not assess antiviral effects of these drugs. The findings are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers from Oslo University Hospital, Norway, and collaborators, randomly assigned 181 hospitalized patients in 23 hospitals in Norway to receive remdesivir (n = 42), HCQ (n = 52), or standard of care (SoC) (n = 87) to evaluate the effects of remdesivir and HCQ on all-cause, in-hospital mortality; the degree of respiratory failure and inflammation; and viral clearance in the oropharynx. The researchers found no significant differences between treatment groups in mortality during hospitalization. Remdesivir and HCQ did not affect the degree of respiratory failure or inflammation. There was a significant decrease in SARS-CoV-2 load in the oropharynx during the first week in all treatment groups, with similar decreases and 10-day viral loads. The lack of antiviral effect with remdesivir and HCQ remained consistent despite patient age, symptom duration, degree of viral load, and presence of antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

The researchers note that overall mortality in NOR-Solidarity was lower than in the WHO-Solidarity trial. This could be due to early lockdown policies in Norway during the initial phase of the pandemic, reducing pressure on hospitals and health care systems. Norway also had lower rates of comorbid conditions such as diabetes and chronic heart disease. Still, based on their findings, the researchers question the antiviral potential of remdesivir and HCQ.

Media contacts: For an embargoed PDF, please contact Angela Collom at To speak with the corresponding author, Andreas Barratt-Due, PhD, please contact Anders Bayer at

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