Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) recently published data showing that its pipeline drug Remdesivir can achieve the same outcome in COVID-19 patients within 5-days as was previously observed in 10-day treatment course.
Gilead, one of the major biopharmaceuticals, has been working on a COVID-19 treatment and will publish its remdesivir study towards the end of last month. The company conducted a clinical trial with 397 subjects that were diagnosed with the coronavirus and whose condition was critical. Most of the patients in the study required ventilators to aid their breathing.
Gilead revealed that it did not include a placebo arm in the study, but it did manage to observe that there was little disparity in the treatment outcomes in patients based on the number of days they were treated. About 54 % of patients treated with remdesivir for 10-days gained some clinical improvement, while 64% of the patients treated with the intravenous drug for 5-days achieved some clinical improvements.
The biopharma, however, noted that the results of the clinical trial do not necessarily mean that a shorter treatment duration will yield similar or better results. There was evidence that the improvements occurred earlier during the treatment, thus the imbalances in the results. Gilead also reported that some adverse effects were noticed, which included increased respiratory failure and nausea.
Gilead revealed that it discontinued 3.6% of the trial subjects in the 10-day treatment group and 2.5% in the 5-day treatment group due to high levels of liver enzymes. Remdesivir received emergency use approval from the FDA on May 1. This approval was, however, granted based on the results of a different clinical study that was conducted by the National Institutes of Health.
Gilead has also been conducting a clinical study in which remdesivir is administered to COVID-19 patients whose condition is mild. The results of this study indicate that the treatment significantly reduces the recovery duration compared to the placebo. A 10-day treatment also appears to be effective compared to the placebo. The initial findings support the administration of remdesivir to coronavirus patients that have been hospitalized.