Gilead’s Remdesivir gets emergency use authorization from the FDA to treat COVID-19

By: Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh Khan
Wajeeh is an active follower of world affairs, technology, an avid reader, and loves to play table tennis in… read more.
on May 2, 2020
  • FDA approves Gilead's Remdesivir drug for emergency use in Coronavirus patients.
  • Remdesivir reduced recovery time for some COVID-19 patients in early trials.
  • CEO Daniel O'Day says Gilead Sciences will donate 1.5 million vials of the drug.

In a statement on Friday, President Donald Trump announced that Gilead’s (NASDAQ: GILD) Remdesivir drug has been approved for emergency use in Coronavirus patients by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The U.S president announced the emergency use authorization (EUA) with CEO Daniel O’Day of Gilead Sciences in the Oval Office. The CEO also commented on Friday’s news and stated:

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“We want to thank the collaborators that brought Remdesivir to this point and many of our people that have been part of it, in fact, the caregivers.”

O’Day also announced that the company will donate 1.5 million vials of the drug.

Gilead jumps roughly 2% in extended trading on Friday

The immediate reaction to the news in the stock market was not encouraging. Gilead closed the regular session around 4.8% down on Friday at £64 per share. In after-hours trading, however, the stock recovered roughly 2%.

At the time of writing, the American biopharmaceutical company is valued at £80.50 billion and has a price to earnings ratio of 18.96. Gilead is currently around 25% up year to date in the stock market.

The EUA implies that the drug showed promising results in the early studies but has not gone through extensive trials and meticulous review that usually lays the foundation for FDA’s approval for a new drug.

Previously, FDA approved Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine (malaria drugs) for emergency use as a potential treatment for COVID-19 that resulted in serious complications in patients involving heart rhythm. Later on, the FDA warned against the use of malaria drugs outside a formal clinical setup.

The Coronavirus has so far infected more than 1.1 million people in the United States and has caused over 65,700 deaths.

Remdesivir reduces recovery time for some COVID-19 patients

Gilead’s Remdesivir is an intravenous drug that, as per the latest data from a clinical trial, helped reduce recovery time for some COVID-19 patients that were hospitalized. As there is no other approved treatment for the flu-like virus, healthcare workers are now expected to use Remdesivir as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Remdesivir showed positive results in Gilead’s trial as well as the study conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Gilead said that at least half of the COVID-19 patients who received Remdesivir’s 5-day dosage showed significant improvement. The National Institute also reported a comparatively faster recovery in patients who received the drug versus those who didn’t.

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