‘Experimental COVID treatment remdesivir delivers positive data in trial’

The experimental coronavirus treatment remdesivir has generated “positive data” in a trial of the antiviral organized by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), according to developer Gilead Sciences.

“We understand that the trial has met its primary endpoint and that NIAID will provide detailed information at an upcoming briefing,” said Gilead in a statement released Wednesday.

The NIAID study is a double-blind placebo-controlled trial encompassing more than 800 patients, according to a recent document posted by Gilead on its website. The study involves patients with critical, severe and moderate COVID-19 systems, according to the document.

Shares of Gilead rose more than 4 per cent on Wednesday morning on heels of the news. In an open letter sent out on April 4, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day explained that multiple clinical trials have been set up to determine whether remdesivir is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19.

The NIAID and the World Health Organization are running global trials, according to O’Day. In its statement released Wednesday, Gilead said that it will share additional remdesivir data from the company’s open-label Phase 3 SIMPLE trial in patients with severe COVID-19 disease shortly.

“This study will provide information on whether a shorter, 5-day duration of therapy may have similar efficacy and safety as the 10-day treatment course evaluated in the NIAID trial and other ongoing trials,” it said. “Gilead expects data at the end of May from the second SIMPLE study evaluating the 5- and 10-day dosing durations of remdesivir in patients with moderate COVID-19 disease.”