Gilead slides 4% after coronavirus drug shows limited benefit in moderately ill patients

FILE PHOTO: A Gilead Sciences Inc. office is shown in Foster City, California Reuters

Shares in Gilead Sciences slipped 4% on Monday after a late-stage coronavirus drug trial showed that remdesivir had limited success treating moderately ill patients.

The company said that remdesivir helped patients in the trial with “moderate” disease recover more quickly when they took it for five days but it had limited benefits for patients who took it for 10 days.

Gilead said patients in the group that received remdesivir for five days were 65% more likely to show signs of clinical improvement compared to those who got usual care, without receiving the drug.

Remdesivir has been tested as a treatment for patients with COVID-19. It has been authorised for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has been approved for use in Japan.

While Monday’s results affirm that remdesivir does have some success in treating COVID-19 it may raise questions how beneficial it will be overall.

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Earlier test results in April showed hospitalized, severely ill COVID-19 patients recovered 31% faster when taking remdesivir instead of a placebo, according to results released by the US National Institutes of Health.

Gilead Sciences said in a statement: “We now have three randomised, controlled clinical trials demonstrating that remdesivir improved clinical outcomes by several different measures.”

“Today’s results showed that when treating moderate disease, a five-day course of remdesivir led to greater clinical improvement than standard care, adding further evidence of remdesivir’s benefit to previously released study results.”

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Gilead’s share price is up about 15% since the beginning of 2020.

Gilead’s share price since the beginning of 2020

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