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Gilead Sciences Says Remdesivir Hit the Mark in COVID-19 Trial

By Cory Renauer – Apr 29, 2020 at 11:14AM

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A phase 3 with the still-experimental antiviral treatment has met its primary endpoint.

Following some discouraging stories regarding remdesivir in recent days, Gilead Sciences (GILD 1.34%) on Tuesday shared two separate pieces of good news regarding its experimental antiviral drug. According to the company, a clinical trial of remdesivir in COVID-19 patients run by the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) met its primary endpoint. Separately, the company shared positive results from one of its own remdesivir trials.

Primary endpoint met

It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was only February when the NIAID began its clinical trial with remdesivir, starting with a patient who had been quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The multicenter study was expected to enroll around 800 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms and randomly place them into groups either receiving remdesivir or a placebo. 

Physician in an intensive care unit taking notes.

Image source: Getty Images.

The NIAID appointed data monitors to make interim assessments without unblinding providers and patients to which treatment group they were placed in. The NIAID has informed Gilead Sciences that the study met its primary endpoint -- time to recovery by day 29 following treatment -- but the government agency hasn't published results from the study or made an official announcement.

Consolation data

While it sounds like patients treated with remdesivir were quicker to recover, Gilead didn't share details, nor did it say whether NIAID provided any. The company did share details from the Simple-1 trial, which wasn't blinded and didn't employ a placebo group. Instead, the study simply compared recovery times from patients treated with a five-day regimen to recovery times for patients treated with a 10-day regimen.  

Results from the Simple-1 study suggest a longer course of treatment doesn't improve time to recovery. A majority of patients treated with a 5-day remdesivir regimen recovered within 10 days, while most patients treated with a 10-day regimen needed 11 days to recover.

Cory Renauer owns shares of Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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