Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) released an update about its developmental COVID-19 vaccine remdesivir, revealing that the treatment yielded modest improvements in patients.
Coronavirus patients who were administered with remdesivir intravenously for five days demonstrated moderate improvements. However, the COVID-19 patients that were treated with the drug for 10-days did not yield significant improvements. Remdesivir was the first antiviral drug to demonstrate significant improvements in coronavirus patients during clinical trials. The company tested 600 coronavirus patients in its late-stage study of the drug.
The findings from the late-stage clinical trial indicated that the health condition of 76% of the coronavirus patients that were treated with remdesivir for five days improved, especially compared to the 66% of patients that remained in standard care. There was also some moderate improvement in 70% of the patients that were treated with the antiviral drug for 10-days. Gilead pointed out that the 10-day test group’s improvements were not enough to be considered statistically significant.
Gilead received emergency use authorization (EUA) for remdesivir from the U.S Food and Drug Administration in May after reporting that the drug reduced in COVID-19 patients stay in hospital by 31%. However, the FDA is yet to reveal whether it will expand Gilead’s EUA for remdesivir.
Investors were clearly not pleased by the news regarding the developmental coronavirus treatment, and that translated to some downbeat performance in Gilead’s stock price on Monday. Meanwhile, the clinical study has not been without controversy. Some experts and analysts in the pharmaceutical industry have criticized the company’s approach to running the clinical trials.
For example, Gilead’s decision to change the primary endpoints of the study while the study was already underway was seen as an unusual move. Umer Raffat, an analyst at Evercore ISI, revealed that Giliead Sciences focused on a 7-point scale, but it is yet to reveal a huge chunk of significant data. Some analysts also believe that other COVID-19 treatments with better efficacy from other pharmaceutical companies will soon emerge. Numerous companies have been working on a vaccine for the disease, which has turned into a global pandemic.