Several drugs are being tested these days in hopes of finding a cure for the coronavirus disease or COVID-19. Thankfully, one of the leading candidates, antiviral drug remdesivir, is showing promising results in critical trials.
Gilead's Remdesivir Succeeds in a Study
In a report by Business Insider, the biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc.'s experimental antiviral drug succeeded in a crucial study.
The drug is now being tested in several COVID-19 patients as part of its human trials, and in one of the trials, which was led by the US National Institutes of Health, results show that the drugs work.
The company did not provide any other detail from the study.
Nevertheless, the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is planning an announcement, according to a spokesperson, but for now, they did not share any details either.
"We understand that the trial has met its primary endpoint," the company said in a statement, which means that patients are recovering with the help of remdesivir compared to placebo.
Remdesivir is being given as an IV transfusion to hospitalized patients.
However, they haven't yet tested it for patients with milder symptoms of the viral infection or whether it could be used as a preventive measure against the virus.
The Company Disclosed the Success of Their Trial
Meanwhile, Gilead disclosed the results of their own trials, showing that COVID-19 patients that were treated earlier with the experimental drug are also more likely to recover faster compared to those who have been treated later.
According to Reuters, Gilead's study showed that 62% of coronavirus patients that were treated early with the drug were discharged sooner compared with the 49% of patients who were treated late.
The trial included 397 patients with severe manifestations of COVID-19.
They tested and evaluated the safety and efficacy of five-day and 10-day dosing regimens of remdesivir in the participants.
"The study demonstrates the potential for some patients to be treated with a 5-day regimen, which could significantly expand the number of patients who could be treated with our current supply of remdesivir," said the chief medical officer of Gilead Sciences, Merdad Parsey.
Due to interests for Gilead's experimental drug, their stock has risen to 9% in premarket trading, as per USA Today.
Candidate COVID-19 Cures Being Tested
As of now, experts are only testing repurposed medications in hopes of finding a coronavirus cure that could alter how the virus attacks the patients' bodies, especially the lungs and other major organs in extreme cases.
Unfortunately, some of the early leading COVID-19 cures did not work well during the testing trials, so the success of remdesivir is sparking hope once again that a cure will appear in the time of need.
More testing will be needed to assure that remdesivir, or any other potential medication will work against the viral infection.
Nevertheless, the world will need a coronavirus vaccine to go back to normal and avoid the quick spread of infection.
As of writing, the total COVID-19 cases around the world have already risen to a total of 3,163,323, with 219,332 deaths. However, the number of patients recovering from the disease is also increasing, with around 975,000 recovered cases.