Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD)’s experimental drug – Remdesivir is showing positive outcomes in patients suffering from moderate and severe coronavirus infections. The drug is undergoing clinical trials in the US and overseas to treat the dreaded coronavirus. However, 11 clinical trials are being conducted in several nations on a small group of patients affected by the coronavirus and too early to decide on its effectiveness and safety.
68% improvement in 53 hospitalized patients
The experimental drug – Remdesivir has shown 68% improvement in fifty three hospitalized patients. Cory Kasimov of J.P. Morgan said the drug shows a promising outcome. However, it is difficult to come to a conclusion using an uncontrolled dataset from a small group of people.
Gilead tests Remdesivir to treat Ebola Virus
According to the findings in the New England Journal of Medicine on Friday, Gilead is using Remdesivir to treat Ebola Virus in patients, who are infected with coronavirus. The patients have been administered with the new drug under the compassionate program and not as a clinical trial. Daniel O’day, Chief Executive Officer of Gilead said the company has treated over 1,700 people using Remdesivir through its compassionate program as of April 4, 2020.
As of March 7, 2020, the patients in nine nations are treated with Remdesivir and 68% of them have shown improvement. Of this group, 47% are completely cured and discharged whereas 13% of them died. The company has not found any new safety issues in these trials. However, some analysts said the mortality data is not noteworthy and advised to exercise caution because the company has not divulged details like location, site, the number of patients and duration. Steven Seedhouse, an analyst at Raymond James said Remdesivir is not doing much in curing coronavirus.
The analysts at SunTrust Humphrey Robinson are optimistic that Remdesivir shows clinical improvement and benefits. However, they cannot come to a conclusion because of short follow up periods, randomization, lack of controls and small sample size. O’Day has acknowledged their concerns. In an update, O’Day said the company is evaluating the new experimental drug to know in which patients it shows the activity, in what stage of the disease and how long they need the treatment.