Gilead announces results from remdesivir in patients with severe COVID-19

Asked by Fox Business Network earlier if the results announced by Gilead were a positive for the economy, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said: "Has to be a tremendous positive".

"Although a 31 percent improvement doesn't seem like a knockout 100 percent, it is a very important proof of concept because what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus", Fauci said.

"While a new study offers a glimmer of hope that an experimental drug, remdesivir, has an effect against COVID-19, determination of its benefit for the general population must await release of pertinent details to evaluate the study's findings and scientific analysis comparing them to other studies of the drug that have shown mixed results", he said.

"This is good news for Gilead and the market", Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said in a research note.

Gilead, a California-based company, said its own trial found patients treated within 10 days of developing signs of the disease had better outcomes than those treated after 10 days of symptoms. The other half were treated as a control group and given standard antibiotics.

Those results have been highly anticipated because it compares how patients who received remdesivir fared versus those given a placebo, meaning it should definitively demonstrate whether the drug provides benefit.

"There's now enough data to support consideration of access under an emergency use authorization by FDA".

The trial's lead researcher told Reuters on Friday that results could come by mid-May, with preliminary findings possible even earlier.

While Remdesivir was developed to fight Ebola, it has never been approved as a treatment for any disease.

Gilead also provided data on a study in severe COVID-19 patients it has conducted in dozens of medical centers, which does not compare remdesivir to a placebo.

A summary of results posted on the website of the World Health Organization last week showed it failed in a smaller Chinese trial. Gilead chief executive Daniel O'Day earlier this month said the company was prepared to donate 1.5 million doses of remdesivir to hospitals dealing with severely ill patients.

In the study from China, 237 severely ill patients were randomly chosen to receive either remdesivir or a placebo between February 6 and March 12 at 10 hospitals in Hubei, the province that includes Wuhan.

Remdesivir, which previously failed as a treatment for Ebola, is being tried against COVID-19 because it is created to disable the mechanism by which certain viruses, including the new coronavirus, make copies of themselves and potentially overwhelm their host's immune system.

"While additional data are still needed, these results help to bring a clearer understanding of how treatment with remdesivir may be optimized, if proven safe and effective", said Aruna Subramanian, clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, and one of the lead investigators of the study. The study being conducted by the NIAID met its main goal of helping patients with a range of severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, Gilead said.

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