Last week we reported that Remdesivir, an anti-viral drug originally developed by Gilead Sciences as a possible treatment for the Ebola virus, showed preliminary promise in treating COVID-19 patients.
On Wednesday, Gilead reported additional promising news following a “single-arm” study of the drug on coronavirus patients.
Bloomberg reports: “Gilead Sciences Inc.’s experimental drug to treat coronavirus helped patients recover faster than standard care, the company said, offering hope for what could be the first effective treatment for the illness that has swept the world. A trial being run by the U.S.’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases looked at whether Gilead’s remdesivir helped people with Covid-19 recover faster than without it. Details are expected to be released later, the company said in a statement.”
CNBC reports: “Gilead Sciences said Wednesday preliminary results of a coronavirus drug trial showed at least 50% of patients treated with a 5-day dosage of antiviral drug remdesivir improved and more than half were discharged from the hospital within two weeks. … The study tracked two groups of patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19. One group received a 5-day treatment of remdesivir, while the other group took the drug for 10 days. The researchers said more than half of the patients in both treatment groups were discharged from the hospital within 14 days. Roughly 64.5% of the patients who received the shorter treatment course were discharged, compared with 53.8% of the group who were treated for 10 days. “
Wrote Gilead: “Remdesivir is not yet licensed or approved anywhere globally and has not yet been demonstrated to be safe or effective for the treatment of COVID-19. This study sought to determine whether a shorter, 5-day course of remdesivir would achieve similar efficacy results as the 10-day treatment regimen used in multiple ongoing studies of remdesivir. Secondary objectives included rates of adverse events and additional measures of clinical response in both treatment groups. Patients were required to have evidence of pneumonia and reduced oxygen levels that did not require mechanical ventilation at the time of study entry. Clinical improvement was defined as an improvement of two or more points from baseline on a predefined seven-point scale, ranging from hospital discharge to increasing levels of oxygen support to death. Patients achieved clinical recovery if they no longer required oxygen support and medical care or were discharged from the hospital.”