Experimental Coronavirus Drug Remdesivir Shows Promise In Chicago Trial

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The experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir is showing promise in a Chicago clinical trial, according to the health news site STAT.

STAT reported that patients in the trial experienced rapid recoveries from fever and respiratory symptoms. Nearly all patients were discharged in less than a week, it said.

The news sent shares of remdesivir developer Gilead Sciences surging more than 14 percent in after-hours trading.

Some 125 people with COVID-19 – 113 with severe symptoms – were recruited by the University of Chicago Medicine into the two Gilead Phase 3 clinical trials, according to STAT. The news site obtained a recorded video discussion of the trial results.

In the video, Kathleen Mullane, the University of Chicago infectious disease specialist overseeing the remdesivir studies, said that most of the patients had already been discharged and only two had perished, according to STAT.

The antiviral was previously used to treat Ebola patients and has been garnering massive attention as the world scrambles to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Experts, however, have warned that people should not take drugs unless prescribed by a doctor.

Remdesivir is one of a number of drugs in the spotlight as the U.S. tries to contain the pandemic. In a press conference last month, President Trump and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn described several approaches under testing, such as chloroquine, a drug long used to treat malaria, and remdesivir.

In an open letter published last week, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day explained that seven clinical trials have been set up to determine whether remdesivir is a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. “China initiated the first two studies in early February for patients with severe and moderate symptoms of the disease,” he wrote. “Since then, an additional five trials have been initiated around the world.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)