This substance is seen as an adenosine monophosphate analogue, and it is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19
Carbon 1 of the ribose section
is connected to a cyano (nitrile) group -C≡N
as well as a heterocyclic aromatic section resembling the purine adenine
, but not bonded via nitrogen.
Carbon 5 of the ribose is bonded to a single phosphate group
substituted with a phenyl group
as well as an amino group
terminated with a bulky aliphatic chain
ending with an ethybutyl group
It is described as a pro-drug in that it is converted by intercellular enzymes into a triphosphate form of another compound GS-441524.
This interferes with the action of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, slowing production or causing termination of the viral RNA chain. It is said to evade proofreading by viral exoribonuclease.
The makers Gilead state that the limited preclinical data on remdesivir in MERS and SARS indicate that remdesivir may have potential activity against COVID-19.
but they add that remdesivir is an experimental medicine that does not have established safety or efficacy for the treatment of any condition.
Remdesivir was originally developed to treat Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus disease but was ineffective for these viral infections.