Gilead Sciences jumps 16% as severe COVID-19 patients respond to its antiviral drug

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
April 28, 2020
  • University of Chicago reports severe COVID-19 patients responding to Gilead's Remdesivir.
  • Gilead has partnered with 152 locations for its study involving severe COVID-19 patients.
  • U.S NIH also performed a Remdesivir trial including a control group in February 2020.

Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) started human trials of its prospect antiviral, Remdesivir, recently in critical cases of COVID-19. As per a media report on Thursday, patients were reported to have been responding well to the experimental drug. Following the report, Gilead was seen 16% up in extended trading on Thursday.

University of Chicago Hospital Reports Rapid Recoveries In Response To Remdesivir

Gilead had partnered with a hospital affiliated with the University of Chicago for Remdesivir trials. The hospital said on Thursday that the antiviral is proving to be effective for respiratory symptoms and fever in COVID-19 patients. Owing to rapid recoveries, the hospital added, almost all of the patients were discharged within a few days.

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According to Gilead’s emailed statement, however, “The totality of the data needs to be analysed in order to draw any conclusions from the trial.” The University of Chicago hospital also said in an email, “Partial data from an ongoing clinical trial is by definition incomplete and should never be used to draw conclusions.”

Gilead anticipates its Phase 3 trial results by the end of April. Other relevant studies, as per the American biotechnology company, will also publish additional data in May.

Gilead currently has a total of 152 locations including the University of Chicago that are collaborating with the company for its study involving critical patients of COVID-19. A separate study involving patients showing moderate symptoms of COVID-19 is ongoing in 169 locations.

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NIH Centre Performed A Remdesivir Trial With A Control Group In February

An analysis published in the New England Journal of Medicine also called Gilead’s Remdesivir hopeful for COVID-19 patients last week. It, however, accentuated that the data may still be considered incomplete as the study didn’t use a control group for comparison and the number of patients recruited for the study was small. Other complications, as per the paper, included short follow-up time, and limited details of the trial available.

The United States National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) centre for allergy and infectious disease also conducted a trial in February involving 800 COVID-19 patients. The study randomly assigned patients to the control group (given placebo) or the treatment group (given Remdesivir). The findings of this trial will only be revealed after the results of Gilead’s study.  

Gilead jumped 16% from £61.61 per share to £71.72 per share in after-hours trading on Thursday. The £77.57 billion company is currently around 35% up year to date in the stock market.