STAT News reports:
A Chicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences’ antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week, STAT has learned.
Remdesivir was one of the first medicines identified as having the potential to impact SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, in lab tests. The entire world has been waiting for results from Gilead’s clinical trials, and positive results would likely lead to fast approvals by the FDA and other regulatory agencies. If safe and effective, it could become the first approved treatment against the disease.
The University of Chicago Medicine recruited 125 people with Covid-19 into Gilead’s two Phase 3 clinical trials. Of those people, 113 had severe disease. All the patients have been treated with daily infusions of remdesivir.
As always, caution is being urged:
“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 spokesperson said in an email on Friday morning.
“In this case, information from an internal forum for research colleagues concerning work in progress was released without authorization. Drawing any conclusions at this point is premature and scientifically unsound.”
One trial is evaluating remdesivir in 2,400 people with severe forms of the disease, the other is testing the drug in 1,600 patients who are moderately ill. Both trials are being conducted at multiple sites around the world. According to ClinicalTrials.gov, both trials began in March and are expected to conclude in May.