A large study hints at the potential benefit of an experimental COVID-19 drug called remdesivir.
“Patients receiving a 10-day treatment course of remdesivir achieved similar improvement in clinical status compared with those taking a 5-day treatment course,” Gilead Sciences, which makes the drug, said in a press release Wednesday.
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However, Gilead has not yet released enough information from the trial to show what that “improvement” means for patients. The company said full results would be published “in the coming weeks.”
The analysis did not compare remdesivir to a placebo, so it’s impossible to determine whether any benefits were due to the drug or whether patients would have improved on their own.
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This latest study was meant to determine how long hospitalized patients would need to be on the drug for a potential clinical benefit. If patients only need 5 days of treatment, rather than 10, it would mean Gilead could double the number of people treated.
“This is particularly important in the setting of a pandemic,” Dr. Merdad Parsey, Gilead’s chief medical officer, said in the press release.
Remdesivir is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration, has not been proven as an effective treatment for patients with the coronavirus. Studies on the drug are ongoing, and data from a National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases trial are expected later today.
This is a developing story.