Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) has announced that it will soon commence enrolment of moderate to severe COVID-19 pediatric patients in its late-stage trial evaluating its experimental treatment, remdesivir.

Gilead expand remdesivir study to children

Remdesivir is currently the only approved drug employed in the treatment of COVID-19, and it has only been tested in clinical studies on adults. Some countries have already granted remdesivir emergency use authorization, and it could be vital in patients. This is after data demonstrated that the drug can shorten the period taken for COVID-19 patients to recover.

The company has indicated that it will commence enrolment in the single-arm, open-label phase2/3 study of remdesivir in 50 pediatric moderate to severe COVID-19 patients. The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of remidisvir in the patients that will include new-borns and adolescents in mover 30 locations across the US and Europe. Although there are few cases of COVID-19 in children, those that happen are nonetheless related to the multisystem inflammatory syndrome. This will be among the first studies to enroll children for trials.

Remdsivir treatment showing better responses in patients

Merdad Parsey, the chief medical officer of Gilead, indicated that since the start of the pandemic, the company has been advancing its investigations drug, remdesivir in COVID-19. The initiatives have been in parallel with the growing information about the disease. Merdad added that although the virus tends to affect adults disproportionately, there have been cases of infected children. Some young adults and children have been hospitalized because of coronavirus and associated autoimmune symptoms.

Since February, the chief medical officer added remdesivir to pediatric patients showing severe signs of COVID-19 under the US Emergency Use Authorization. The company has now taken more steps to collect data on the drug in the pediatric patient population. Remdesivir has shown significant benefit in terms of patient recovery in the third phase SIMPLE study that assessed the drug for dosing for five days and ten days. Results indicated that patients tat received remdesivir earlier showed better response.