A closely-watched Gilead Sciences experimental antiviral drug failed to help sufferers with extreme COVID-19 in a clinical trial carried out in China, but the drugmaker stated the findings had been inconclusive because the research was terminated early.
Gilead shares closed down 4.3% after the data was inadvertently released. It comes days after another report detailed rapid recovery in fever and respiratory symptoms in some sufferers with COVID-19 – the sometimes lethal respiratory illness brought on by the coronavirus – who had been treated with remdesivir at the University of Chicago Medicine hospital.
Interest in Gilead’s remdesivir has been high as there are presently no approved remedies or preventive vaccines for COVID-19, and doctors are desperate for something that might alter the course of the illness that attacks the lungs and might shut down other organs in extremely severe cases.
In the Chinese trial, remdesivir, given by intravenous infusion, failed to enhance sufferers’ condition or scale down the pathogen’s presence in the bloodstream, based on draft documents revealed accidentally by the World Health Organization (WHO).
However, particulars had been thin and urged limitations in interpreting the data that has not but been fully reviewed.
A screenshot of the WHO posting, captured by the medical news web site STAT before it was taken down, mentioned the trial involved 237 patients with 158 receiving remdesivir compared with 79 who got a placebo.