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Coronavirus: Gilead says remdesivir trial shows improvement in some moderate cases

Gilead Sciences said Monday that the latest trial of it antiviral drug remdesivir showed positive results when given to a group of what was described as “moderately sick” coronavirus patients.

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However, the overall data from the study also included mixed results related to the length of patients’ course of treatment.

Foster City-based Gilead said the Phase 3 trial included patents who were given remdesivir on either a five or 10-day course of treatment, along with standard care, compared to patients on just standard treatment care. Gilead said that 65% of patients on the five-day treatment course were “more likely to have clinical improvement at Day 11” of the overall trial.

“Today’s results showed that when treating moderate disease, a five-day course of remdesivir led to greater clinical improvement than standard of care, adding further evidence of remdesivir’s benefit to previously released study results,” said Merdad Parsey, chief medical officer at Gilead, in a statement. “The additional data we have in hand today will further guide our research efforts.”

However, Gilead said that while the results of those taking remdesivir for 10 days during the trial were also favorable, they were also “trending toward but not reaching statistical significance.”

That tentatively positive assessment of the longer course of remdesivir actually weighed on Gilead’s stock price Monday, with the company’s shares dropping by 3.7%, to $74.93.

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted the authorization for emergency use of remdesivir on May 1. Gilead stressed that the FDA authorization is temporary and the  drug still needs to go through the formal new drug application submission, review and approval process.

Remdesivir came into the spotlight in late April after the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reported positive results from a study involving patients taking the drug as part of a coronavirus treatment regimen.

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