Samuel Case, FISM News
Gilead Sciences is once again making news with its drug, remdesivir. Research is proving to be effective in the ongoing battle against COVID-19, with results the company says “significantly improved clinical recovery.” New data published by the company says the antiviral reduces mortality rate in severe cases by 62% compared to standard care. Gilead’s shares rose 2% to $76.21 in premarket trading.
This isn’t the first time remdesivir has shown promise. Back in April the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases conducted a 1,063 patient study showing patients given the drug had a mortality rate of 7.1%, while the placebo group had a mortality rate of 11.9%. The drug also reduced the median recovery time from 15 days to 11 days.
This new study consisted of 312 patients whose results were compared to that of 818 similar patients in “a real-world retrospective cohort” who were receiving standard care.
While the results are promising, Gildead admits more research is needed. Dr. Susan Olender of Columbia University Irving Medical Center said in the Gilead statement, “While not as vigorous as a randomized controlled trial, this analysis importantly draws from a real-world setting and serves as an important adjunct to clinical trial data, adding to our collective understanding of this virus and reflecting the extraordinary pace of the ongoing pandemic . . .”
A factor that may dampen some enthusiasm is cost. According to Statnews, “Gilead will charge $2,340 for a five-day course. U.S. insurers, in addition to Medicare and Medicaid, will pay 33% more, or $3,120.” Currently, the drug is administered through IV, however, Gilead is currently testing an inhaled version, making it more accessible and possibly less expensive.