Gilead’s drug Remdesivir has been found to produce positive effects in two thirds of patients involved in a compassionate study into the treatment of COVID-19.
Since the first reports of coronavirus spreading through China, pharmaceutical companies have been conducting trails for possible treatments and vaccines.
With the slim likelihood of a vaccine being found and tested to the degree it can be used on entire populations this year, drugs to treat infected patient are the next best option to fight COVID-19.
There are hundreds of tests ongoing currently ongoing globally, however over the weekend we have learnt of promising results from one of the first companies to beginning testing in China.
Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) is a US-listed company that began its involvement with Coronavirus with a free shipment of the drug Remdesivir to China in January.
Remdesivir was initially developed by Gilead to treat Ebola and has been tested on other types of viral disease.
There were early reports of mildly positive results in patients with COVID-19 that received Remdesivir and further studies were commissioned, one of which we have just received results from.
Early results of this trial were reported over the easter weekend and highlighted a positive response in a two thirds of 53 patients involved in the trial.
The trial involved patients who were seriously ill with 30 of the patients on oxygen ventilators. 17 of these 30 came off ventilation after 10 days of Remdesivir treatment.
However, the results should be treated with caution due to the small sample size of the study that was conducted on a compassionate basis.
Remdesivir will now undergo further extensive clinical trials to test for efficacy and safety.
“Currently there is no proven treatment for COVID-19. We cannot draw definitive conclusions from these data, but the observations from this group of hospitalized patients who received remdesivir are hopeful,” said Jonathan D. Grein, MD, Director of Hospital Epidemiology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre.
“We look forward to the results of controlled clinical trials to potentially validate these findings.”
Gilead is among hundred of companies conducting trials of COVID-19 treatments, none of which have yet yielded a fully licensed and approved drug.