Early Promising Results from Gilead-Sponsored Study on Remdesivir

(p. B3) A doctor in Chicago told colleagues that Gilead’s drug remdesivir appeared to help many patients enrolled in a clinical trial site at the University of Chicago Medicine hospital, according to a news report in online health publication STAT, which cited a video of the remarks. The doctor said that the hospital had enrolled 125 patients in two remdesivir studies sponsored by Gilead, and that most had been discharged from the hospital, and two had died.

. . .

“Partial data from an ongoing clinical trial is by definition incomplete and should never be used to draw conclusions about the safety or efficacy of a potential treatment that is under investigation,” a University of Chicago spokeswoman said in an email. “Drawing any conclusions at this point is premature and scientifically unsound.”

. . .

Last week, Gilead reported in the New England Journal of Medicine that remdesivir showed encouraging results in treating 53 patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms. The patients were given the drug under so-called compassionate use, which allows for doctors to request unapproved drugs for patients in emergency situations.

Of the 53 compassionate use patients who received remdesivir, nearly half were discharged from the hospital and seven patients died, or 13% of the total, according to the New England Journal paper. Of 30 patients using breathing tubes connected to ventilators, 17 had their tubes disconnected after remdesivir treatment.

For the full story, see:

Joseph Walker. “Gilead Shares Up 9.7% On Encouraging Signs In Covid-19 Drug Trial.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, April 18, 2020): B3.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date April 17, 2020, and has the title “Coronavirus Drug Report, Though Inconclusive, Sends Gilead Higher.” Where the versions differ, the passages quoted above follow the somewhat longer online version.)

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