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Gilead Announces Successful Trial for Its Coronavirus Drug

The majority of patients with severe coronavirus symptoms using Gilead's remdesivir showed "clinical improvement" in a compassionate use trial the company said.
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Biotechnology titan Gilead Sciences  (GILD) - Get Gilead Sciences Inc. Report Friday announced a successful trial of its antiviral drug to treat the coronavirus -- remdesivir

The results came from a cohort analysis of 53 hospitalized patients suffering severe coronavirus symptoms who were treated with remdesivir on an individual compassionate use basis. The drug hasn’t been approved for general use by the Food and Drug Administration.

“The majority of patients in this international cohort demonstrated clinical improvement and no new safety signals were identified with remdesivir treatment,” Gilead said in a statement.

“Compassionate use data have limitations and multiple Phase 3 studies are ongoing to determine the safety and efficacy of remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19. The detailed results of this analysis were published today in The New England Journal of Medicine.”

The company warned that the drug hasn’t yet been “demonstrated to be safe or effective for the treatment of Covid-19.”

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But Gilead officials aren’t the only ones voicing some optimism.

"We cannot draw definitive conclusions from these data, but the observations from this group of hospitalized patients who received remdesivir are hopeful," Jonathan Grein, director of hospital epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and lead author of the NEJM article, said in the company’s statement.

"We look forward to the results of controlled clinical trials to potentially validate these findings."

Gilead is among nearly two dozen companies seeking treatment drugs or vaccines for the coronavirus, according to MarketWatch’s count.

Gilead’s shares closed at $73.51 Thursday, down 1.97%. The stock has climbed 12% over the last three months.