Gilead sees 'positive' data on coronavirus treatment remdesivir trial

Multiple trials are looking at the effects of remdesivir on coronavirus

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Gilead Sciences on Wednesday touted "positive data" coming from a study of the use of its drug remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment.

In the study, 62 percent of patients who received the drug within 10 days of symptoms were discharged from the hospital, compared with 49 percent of those treated late.

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"These study results complement data from the placebo-controlled study of remdesivir conducted by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases and help to determine the optimal duration of treatment with remdesivir," Gilead Sciences Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merdad Parsey said in a statement.

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)

NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the coronavirus task force, addressed the positive data on remdesivir at the White House on Wednesday.

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Data shows "remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery — this is really quite important," Fauci said.

Shares of Gilead Sciences were halted in premarket trade on Wednesday.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GILDGILEAD SCIENCES INC.64.21-0.84-1.29%

Gilead Sciences responded last week to a World Health Organization report that its experimental antiviral drug failed to help patients with severe COVID-19 in a clinical trial conducted in China.

Gilead said the findings were inconclusive because the study was terminated early. Fauci echoed Gilead's criticism on Wednesday.

"It's an underpowered study," he said. "I don't like to poo-poo other studies, but that is not an adequate study."

The antiviral drug remdesivir is often used to treat malaria.

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White House senior adviser Jared Kushner told "FOX & Friends" that the government and private sector response to the virus.

"You've never really had a situation where you had to respond in this quick time frame to such a massive surge in demand for supplies that we didn't make in this country," Kushner said Wednesday.

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"The health care sector in America is mostly controlled by the private sector and not-for-profits. So, it's not run by the government. So, you need to take a custom-tailored approach and we created a 'control tower' approach with the private company distributors in order to make sure that we could be as efficient as possible," he continued. "And it's been quite successful."