Ebola drug Remdesivir effective in treating coronavirus, Gilead Sciences data finds

Provided by CBS SF Bay Area

Provided by CBS SF Bay Area

But, leaked video recordings from the trial's leading scientists have provided hope for a possible coronavirus treatment that successfully left patients free of COVID-19 symptoms.

Shares of the company rose 8% after medical news website STAT detailed rapid recovery in fever and respiratory symptoms in COVID-19 patients at the University of Chicago Medicine hospital.

Remdesivir was tried with Ebola and SARS, and the drug has an accumulated safety database, he said. In the video discussion, Kathleen Mullane, a professor of medicine at the university who is overseeing the trial, said most of the patients taking the drug had improved enough to be discharged from the hospital, and only two died.

However, the trial does not include what's known as a control group, so it will be hard to say whether the drug is truly helping patients recover better.

The experimental antiviral drug remdesivir has proven effective against COVID-19 in a small experiment involving monkeys, U.S. government scientists reported Friday. It also hinted at the drug's potential for treating COVID-19, with 68 percent of patients showing improvement, including many on mechanical ventilation. "We have very few that went out to 10 days, maybe three", she said. "We've only had two patients perish".

While clinical trials of the drug are happening in the US, results from late-stage tests happening in China are expected first, possibly as early as this month.

USA stocks open higher. Dow and S&P outperform
In European trading, the CAC 40 in Paris rose 3.4%, while Germany's DAX climbed 3.1%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 445.41 points, or 1.9%, to 23,504.35.

UChicago Medicine, also in an email, said "partial data from an ongoing clinical trial is by definition incomplete and should never be used to draw conclusions".

Gilead's drug is one of the most-watched therapies being studied for treatment of COVID-19 patients. "But certainly when we start [the] drug, we see fever curves falling".

The study was conducted by researchers in China and the suspension was posted https://bit.ly/3bcnyv4 on Wednesday on clinicaltrials.gov, a database maintained by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). They were treated with daily infusions of remdesivir.

She added that the treatment is seeing patients with "high fevers" come down "quite quickly", as well as people coming off ventilators "a day after starting therapy".

The biotechnology company, based in Foster City, California, had previously said to expect results for its trial involving severe cases in April. So, in that realm, overall our patients have done very well. Gilead intends to enroll 4,000 people in its trials.

In a statement, Gilead said: "What we can say at this stage is that we look forward to data from ongoing studies becoming available".

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