Gilead’s Experimental Antiviral Remdesivir Shows Some Benefit To COVID-19 Patients In NIAID-Supported Clinical Trial; U.S. Explores Emergency Use Authorization

New York Times: Remdesivir Shows Modest Benefits in Coronavirus Trial
“Modest results from a federal trial of an experimental drug helped send the stock market soaring on Wednesday, another sign of the desperation for a viable treatment against the coronavirus. … [I]n a briefing at the White House, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the trial had shown that treatment with the drug could modestly speed recovery in patients infected with the coronavirus. The improvement in recovery times ‘doesn’t seem like a knockout 100 percent,’ Dr. Fauci conceded, but ‘it is a very important proof of concept, because what it has proven is that a drug can block this virus’…” (Kolata et al., 4/29).

Reuters: WHO declines comment on remdesivir in COVID-19, hopes for best
“A top World Health Organization official declined comment on Wednesday on reports that Gilead Science’s remdesivir could help treat COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, but said that further data was needed…” (Nebehay/Farge, 4/29).

STAT: Critical study of Gilead’s Covid-19 drug shows patients are responding to treatment, NIH says
“…In a statement on Wednesday, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is conducting the study, said preliminary data show patients who received remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received placebo. The finding — although difficult to fully characterize without full, detailed data for the study — would represent the first treatment shown to improve outcomes in patients infected with the virus that put the global economy in a standstill and killed at least 218,000 people worldwide. … As previously reported by STAT, an early peek at Gilead’s study in severe Covid-19 patients, based on data from a trial at a Chicago hospital, suggested patients were doing better than expected on remdesivir. Days later, a summary of results from a study in China showed that patients on the drug did not improve more than those in a control group. Full results from the China study were also released Wednesday. But the NIAID study, which was not expected to be released so soon, was by far the most important and rigorously designed test of remdesivir in Covid-19…” (Herper/Feuerstein, 4/29).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Explores Emergency-Use Approval for Gilead Drug After Study Found It Helped Recovery From Covid-19
“Federal health regulators are exploring whether to greenlight the emergency use of a Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD 5.68% drug in serious Covid-19 patients, after U.S. government researchers reported the therapy helped the patients recover faster. President Trump said he was pushing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to grant the emergency-use authorization to the Gilead drug remdesivir…” (Walker/Sebastian, 4/29).

Additional coverage of clinical research into remdesivir to treat COVID-19 is available from Financial Times, The Guardian, The Hill, NPR, POLITICO, Reuters (2), Washington Post, and Yahoo News UK.

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