Possible Gilead coronavirus treatment remdesivir fails in China trial: report

Summary of the study was posted to the World Health Organization website before being taken down

A coronavirus test by biopharmaceutical company Gilead failed a clinical trial in China, the Financial Times reported.

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Gilead shares dropped on the news.

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The antiviral drug remdesivir, used to treat malaria, did not help speed the recovery of COVID-19 patients, according to FT and Stat News. Both outlets cite a summary of the report that was initially shared by the World Health Organization before it was taken down.

A WHO spokesperson confirmed to FOX Business that the report was shared early and taken down.

In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, a vial of the investigational drug remdesivir is visually inspected at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. (Gilead Sciences via AP)

"A draft document was provided by the authors to WHO and inadvertently posted on the website and taken down as soon as the mistake was noticed. The manuscript is undergoing peer review ,and we are waiting for a final version before WHO comments," the spokesperson said.

A Gilead spokesperson told Stat that the "the post included inappropriate characterization of the study."

CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS RESPONDING TO GILEAD DRUG REMDESIVIR

The summary came from one of two Chinese remdesivir trials that were suspended early because there were not enough patients available.

Last week, Stat reported results from another clinical remdesivir trial conducted by the University of Chicago Medicine, which found nearly all patients who were given daily infusions of Remdesivir were discharged from the hospital in less than a week.

In this March 2020 photo provided by Gilead Sciences, rubber stoppers are placed onto filled vials of the investigational drug remdesivir at a Gilead manufacturing site in the United States. (Gilead Sciences via AP)

The university recruited 125 coronavirus patients, 113 of which had "severe disease" into two clinical trials to assess five and 10-day treatment courses of the drug.

Kathleen Mullane, the infectious disease specialist overseeing the University of Chicago's Remdesivir studies, told STAT that the results have been promising so far.

"Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us the duration of therapy doesn't have to be 10 days," Mullane said. "We have very few that went out to 10 days, maybe three."

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Last month, President Trump touted the drug's potential, saying it "seems to have a very good result."

Remedsivir was one of the first medicines identified as having the potential to treat coronavirus in lab tests. If deemed safe and effective in clinical trials, it could lead to fast approval from the Food and Drug Administration and become the first approved treatment against the disease.

FOX Business' Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.

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