Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) has announced that it is expanding clinical trials for its antiviral drug remdesivir as a potential treatment of COVID-19 in countries outside China.
Gilead to expand clinical trials of remdsivir to other countries outside china
The company now expects to begin two new remdesivir clinical trials in March across Asia and countries that have reported a high number of COVID-19 cases. The trials will enroll over 1,000 patients in various medical centers. Gilead has, however, not indicated in which countries they will be carrying clinical trials.
At the beginning of this month, the company partnered with China-japan Friendship Hospital to test remdesivir on coronavirus patients in China. Already the drug is being tested in Wuhan where the epidemic originated from, and Gilead expects results from the tests in April. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has also indicated that the drug will be tested in the US. The NIH indicated that the drug could be tested infected patients that are under treatment in Nebraska.
The rapid advance of redmesivir in the clinical trials shows how the COVID-19 outbreak is a threat to public health. It also affirms the important that regulators and health agencies have attached to the treatment.
Testing for safety and efficacy of remdsivir in treatment of COVID-19
The Chief Medical Officer of the company Merdad Parsey indicated that the focus of the trials is to determine the safety and efficacy of the drug in the treatment of the coronavirus. The complementary studies will be vital in providing a wide range of data across the globe on the profile or remdesivir. Parsey stated that the accelerated clinical development of remdesivir shows the urgent need to get a treatment option for the virus.
The drug is still in trial stages, and it is yet to get approval as a treatment for diseases caused by coronaviruses, including COVID-19. However, trials on infected monkeys and mice have shown the possibility of the drug-fighting coronaviruses. The drug was initially tested on Ebola patients, and it appeared to have some side effects.