Biotech company Gilead Sciences released testing results Monday that show certain COVID-19 patients improved after receiving the drug remdesivir.
Nearly 600 hospitalized patients who had moderate pneumonia but did not need oxygen support were randomly assigned to be treated with remdesivir for five days, along with standard care; for 10 days along with standard care; or standard care alone. Patients and doctors knew who was getting which treatments, which could potentially skew results.
Gilead said patients who received remdesivir for five days were 65% more likely to have improved symptoms on the 11th day compared to those who had standard care alone.
However, patients who were given remdesivir for 10 days improved about the same amount as patients treated with standard care alone.
No one who was treated with remdesivir for five days died. Two patients on the 10-day course and four patients who only received standard care died.
Gilead Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merdad Parsey said in statement: "We now have three randomized, controlled clinical trials demonstrating that remdesivir improved clinical outcomes by several different measures." He said these results add "further evidence of remdesivir’s benefit to previously released study results."
The FDA has authorized the emergency use of remdesivir for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Gilead said it will publish the full results from its study in a medical journal soon.
Additional reporting by Marilynn Marchione of The Associated Press.
Contains footage from CNN.