US Hospital Sees Early Success In Gilead Drug Treating Covid-19

The trial saw most patients with severe Covid-19 discharged within six days.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 – A United States hospital has received encouraging results in its clinical trial involving Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir as potential treatment for severe Covid-19 patients.

According to STAT, Gilead’s two Phase 3 clinical trials by the University of Chicago Medicine saw the recruitment of 125 people with Covid-19. Of those people, 113 had severe disease. All the patients were treated with daily infusions of remdesivir.

“The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We’ve only had two patients perish,” said Kathleen Mullane, the University of Chicago infectious disease specialist overseeing the remdesivir studies for the hospital, according to STAT.

“Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn’t have to be 10 days. We have very few that went out to 10 days, maybe three,” Mullane was quoted saying.

Gilead’s study on severe Covid-19 includes 2,400 participants from 152 different clinical trial sites all over the world, whereas the study on moderate Covid-19 has 1,600 patients in 169 different centres worldwide.

The University of Chicago Medicine reportedly said “drawing any conclusions at this point is premature and scientifically unsound.”

Mullane also was quoted saying that conclusions couldn’t be drawn yet, noting that the trial on severe Covid-19 did not have a placebo group.

“But certainly when we start [the] drug, we see fever curves falling,” she said, noting that patients have seen high fevers reducing quickly, while other patients no longer required ventilator support a day after starting treatment.

Malaysia is also gearing up to run clinical trials on remdesivir as part of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global Solidarity Trial to test medicines for Covid-19. Nine Ministry of Health hospitals will start taking in participants among Covid-19 patients with symptoms or severe disease.

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