Gilead says remdesivir shows ‘positive’ signs for coronavirus treatment

An Ebola drug that may also treat coronavirus has shown crucial signs of success in meeting its “primary endpoint” in official testing, biotech giant  Gilead Sciences announced Wednesday.

The firm said that it was “aware of positive data emerging” over its antiviral drug remdesivir during testing by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID).

“We understand that the trial has met its primary endpoint,” the company said of the medicine first developed to treat Ebola.

Gilead did not provide more detail, but the announcement means patients on remdesivir recovered more quickly than those taking a placebo, Business Insider noted.

The firm teased an upcoming briefing by NIAID that would offer “detailed information” about the results.

The company also announced its own study showed that 62% of patients treated early with remdesivir were discharged from the hospital, compared with 49% of patients who were treated late.

The trial was testing 397 patients, evaluating the safety and efficacy of five-day and 10-day dosing regimens of remdesivir in hospitalized patients with severe manifestations of COVID-19.

A Gilead Sciences, Inc. office is shown in Foster City, CaliforniaREUTERS

Interest in Gilead’s drug have been high as there are currently no approved treatments or preventive vaccines for COVID-19

Still, Gilead Sciences noted that “Remdesivir is not yet licensed or approved anywhere globally and has not yet been demonstrated to be safe or effective for the treatment of COVID-19.”

“Unlike traditional drug development, we are attempting to evaluate an investigational agent alongside an evolving global pandemic,” the company’s chief medical officer, Merdad Parsey, said.

“Multiple concurrent studies are helping inform whether remdesivir is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19 and how to best utilize the drug.”

News of potential breakthroughs in tests saw Gilead shares jump 9% on Wednesday.

With Post Wires


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