The comments, which were reported by CNBC, came in a press conference at which the organization lauded the Chinese government for the measures it took to stem the spread of the virus. When identifying any drugs that could potentially combat the disease, WHO named the drug from Gilead Sciences.
Remdesivir is an investigational antiviral that hasn't yet been approved anywhere globally for any use.
However, Gilead Sciences has been working with global health officials in responding to the coronavirus outbreak and officials have been experimenting with remdesivir. Numerous health organizations have participated in the trials including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Allergies and Infection Diseases, Department of Defense, the China CDC and the World Health Organization.
Working with health authorities in China, Gilead Sciences has initiated two clinical trials of coronavirus.
One of the studies is evaluating remdesivir in patients with confirmed disease who have developed more severe clinical complications like a requirement for supplemental oxygen. The other study is evaluating the drug in coronavirus patients who have been hospitalized but are not displaying significant manifestations of the disease.
The drug is available to patients through compassionate use requests that must be submitted by the patient’s treating physician.
Gilead Sciences shares were rising 4.8% to $73.05 in trading on Monday.