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Gilead Sciences gives hope for coronavirus treatment with latest data

Proactive Investors Friday, 17 April 2020
A report that Gilead Sciences INC (NASDAQ:GILD) antiviral medication remdesivir is proving effective in treating severe COVID-19 patients has raised hopes of a possible solution to the pandemic. Shares in the US giant rocketed 18% in after-hours trading adding US$14bn in its value after the story appeared in US medical publication STAT. STAT reported that a trial of remdesivir on 125 severely ill patients at the University of Chicago hospital had seen nearly all discharged within a week of the start of treatment and only two deaths. Gilead, however, cautioned that “the totality of the data need to be analyzed in order to draw any conclusions from the trial,” in an emailed response to Reuters. The University also said conclusions should not be drawn from what it described as partial data and that the information from an internal forum for research colleagues concerning work in progress was released without authorization. Gilead expects results from its Phase 3 study in severe Covid-19 patients at the end of this month and data from a study in moderate sufferers to become available in May. Remdesivir was originally designated as a treatment for Ebola, but like a number of other anti-viral medicines has been rushed into trials as a possible solution to coronavirus infections. According to Dr Katherine Mullane, who is overseeing the trial, the drug took less than ten days to have an effect and in some cases acted much faster. “Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn’t have to be 10 days. “We have very few that went out to 10 days, maybe three,” she told STAT. Last week, The New England Journal of Medicine reported that two-thirds of a small group of severely ill COVID-19 patients saw their condition improve after treatment with remdesivir. Analysts cautioned that the Chicago trial sample was small and not measured against a placebo to test if the patients were recovering on their own. A study in 800 coronavirus patients is being carried out by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in the US and is randomly treating patients with remdesivir and a placebo.
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News video: Gilead Sciences Antiviral Drug Trial Relieving Coronavirus Patients

Gilead Sciences Antiviral Drug Trial Relieving Coronavirus Patients 00:19

According to STAT News, a hospital in Chicago treating COVID-19 patients with an antiviral treatment created by Gilead Sciences has seen them quickly recover from fevers and respiratory issues. It has even been able to discharge patients from the hospital within just a week.

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