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Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir results mixed in moderate COVID-19 patients

FOSTER CITY, California: Gilead Sciences said on Monday (Jun 6) its antiviral drug remdesivir had mixed results in a late stage study of people with moderate COVID-19, as patients given a five-day course of the treatment showed statistically significant improvement, while those given it for 10-days did not.

Gilead shares fell about 2.7 per cent in early trading.

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Remdesivir is being closely watched after the US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorisation last month, citing results from another study run by the National Institutes of Health that showed the drug reduced hospitalisation stays by 31 per cent, or about four days, compared to a placebo.

Remdesivir, which previously failed as a treatment for Ebola, is designed to disable the mechanism by which certain viruses, including the new coronavirus, make copies of themselves and potentially overwhelm their host's immune system.

READ: Anti-viral drug effective against coronavirus, study finds

READ: Ebola drug remdesivir used to treat COVID-19 patients in Singapore as part of clinical trials

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The results announced by Gilead on Monday are from a study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of 5- and 10-day treatment with remdesivir in addition to standard of care for patients with moderate COVID-19, compared with standard care alone.

At Day 11, more patients in the 5-day treatment group showed improvement in clinical status versus the standard of care group, Gilead said.

The drugmaker said the odds of improvement with the 10-day treatment course of remdesivir versus standard of care were also favorable, trending toward but not reaching statistical significance.

Jefferies analyst Michael Yee said the improvements seen in the trial patients were only modest.

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