A top U.S. health official said Gilead Sciences Inc’s experimental antiviral drug remdesivir is likely to become the standard of care for COVID-19 after early results from a key clinical trial on Wednesday showed it helped certain patients recover more quickly from the illness caused by the coronavirus.
Preliminary results from a U.S. government trial show that patients given remdesivir had a 31% faster recovery time than those who received a placebo, results hailed by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, as “highly significant.”
Gilead earlier on Wednesday said remdesivir helped improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19 in the government-run trial, and provided additional data suggesting it worked better when given earlier in the course of illness, sending its shares up more than 7%.
“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear cut significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recover. This is really quite important,” Fauci told reporters at the White House, likening it to a moment in 1986 “when we were struggling for drugs for HIV and we had nothing.”
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