The antiviral drug remdesivir reduces the risk of death for severely ill coronavirus patients by 62 percent, the company that makes it said Friday.
Gilead Sciences said the use of the medication was linked to “significantly improved clinical recovery” in a study of hundreds of clinical trial patients, which will be presented to scientists at the upcoming Virtual COVID-19 Conference, according to CNBC.
The drugmaker said it looked at data from 312 patients enrolled in its phase three trial and compared them to 818 severely sick patients worldwide in “a real-world retrospective cohort” who received standard care during the same time period.
The analysis shows that 7.6 percent of patients treated with remdesivir died compared to 12.5 percent of patients who didn’t receive the treatment, according to Gilead.
It also shows that 74.4 percent of patients who received remdesivir recovered by day 14 compared to 59 percent of patients who received standard care, the company said.
Experts agreed the findings were compelling but also noted that other factors may complicate the results.
“While not as vigorous as a randomized controlled trial, this analysis importantly draws from a real-world setting and serves as an important adjunct to clinical trial data, adding to our collective understanding of this virus and reflecting the extraordinary pace of the ongoing pandemic,” Dr. Susan Olender, of Columbia University Irving Medical Center told CNBC.
Reps from Gilead agreed that more studies on the drug are needed.
“We are working to broaden our understanding of the full utility of remdesivir,” Gilead’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Merdad Parsey, said in a statement.
“To address the urgency of the continuing pandemic, we are sharing data with the research community as quickly as possible with the goal of providing transparent and timely updates on new developments with remdesivir.”
Shares of Gilead rose more than 2 percent Friday after the company announced the results of the study.
Last month, the firm announced the much-anticipated pricing for the drug, saying it would charge the typical patient with private health insurance $3,120.
Gilead has also released other data from its own clinical trials that show a faster recovery time and a small clinical benefit.
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