Coronavirus: Gilead's Covid-19 treatment remdesivir shows positive results in preliminary trial

Half the patients tested with a five-day dose of remdesivir improved over the days, while 50% were cured and discharged from the hospital within two weeks

  • Updated

Gilead Sciences on Wednesday said that its coronavirus treatment candidate remdesivir has succeeded in its critical trial, with 50% of the patients treated with the drug improved, while more than half were discharged within two weeks. Gilead's antiviral drug remdesivir is being tested in several ongoing trials in Covod-19 patients and so far there have been positive results from the tests.

Remdesivir was earlier tested on a group of patients in a Chicago hospital and Gilead had reported that the drug showed positive results with patients responding positively to the company's experimental treatment. Shares of Gilead rallied on the affirmative development.

Gilead's Covid-19 test shows positive signs

Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences YouTube Grab

Gilead on Wednesday said that preliminary results of its coronavirus drug trial showed half of the Covid-19 patients with a five-day dosage of the antiviral drug improved over the days, while 50% were cured and discharged from the hospital within two weeks.

This definitely is a positive sign given that biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies are yet to develop a vaccine or treatment for the deadly coronavirus which has killed more than 217,000 people globally. Gilead said that the clinical trial was done on 397 patients with severe Covid-19 infections. However, the study didn't involve a control group of patients, on whom the drug wasn't tried.

"We understand that the trial has met its primary endpoint," Gilead said in a statement adding that details of the test would be provided by the national Institute of Health's (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Earlier, Gilead said that one of the studies, which were being done by the NIH, shows that remdesivir as a drug to cure Covid-19 works.

Study done on two groups of patients

Remdesivir Twitter

The study was carried out on two groups of patients severely affected by Covid-19. The first group received a five-day dosage of remdesivir, while the second group was administered a 10-day course of the drug. Gilead said that more than 50% of the patients in both the groups recovered and were discharged from the hospital within 14 days.

Of the total patients discharged 64.5% belonged to the first group, while 53.8% were from the second group. There are a number of ongoing studies testing if remdesivir is effective in stopping the virus from replicating. The Federal Drug Administration hasn't approved any drug or vaccine to treat the deadly coronavirus. However, a lot of candidates are being tried globally as a potential treatment for Covid-19.

Remdesivir had earlier shown promise in treating SARS and MERS, which too are caused by coronavirus. Remdesivir was also tested as a potential drug to treat Ebola. The drug has also been used by a few US, Chinese and other healthcare authorities to tread Covid-19. However, many experts believe that the drug may not be able to cure the infection but its usage in the early stages could prevent the infection from flaring up.

This article was first published on April 29, 2020
Related topics : Coronavirus