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WHO accidentally posted a draft summary of remdesivir trial studies. As soon as the organization realized the mistake, it deleted the post. But Gilead (GILD) stock plunged.
Yesterday, Stat News reported on the results of the trial of remdesivir developed by Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) in coronavirus patients. According to Stat News, the medicine is inactive in COVID-19 treatment. Following the report, Gilead (GILD) stock plunged by 4.34% and closed at $77.78. In the pre-market, it continued falling. Now it is 1% down, at $77.
Remdesivir Trial Results: Details
Gilead Sciences is one of the players of the coronavirus vaccine race. The company’s candidate is remdesivir — an antiviral medication that initially was a treatment for Ebola virus disease and Marburg virus infections. Gilead Sciences supposed that the drug can be efficient in COVID-19 treatment.
In late February, the company initiated two Phase 3 clinical studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in adults diagnosed with COVID-19. These studies enrolled approximately 1,000 patients at medical centers globally. One study randomized 400 patients with severe clinical manifestations of COVID-19, the second one — 600 patients with moderate clinical symptoms of the virus. All the patients received either five or 10 days of remdesivir.
Things seemed to go swimmingly, as nearly all patients who took Remdesivir were discharged in less than a week. Besides, remdesivir proved to be efficient even in severe cases. However, yesterday, there appeared some other results of the studies.
As Stat News and Financial Times reported, the clinical trial of remdesivir in China showed the drug had failed to improve the condition of COVID-19 patients. Such an outcome came after WHO posted a summary of the study. It said that about 14% of those taking remdesivir had died after a month, in comparison with about 13% of those in the placebo group. Besides, WHO wrote it was not a meaningful difference between the two groups in the speed of improvement.
Gilead Sciences Denies WHO’s Post
But it turned out that WHO accidentally posted a draft summary of remdesivir trial studies. As soon as the organization realized the mistake, it deleted the post. However, several news outlets noticed it.
WHO representative Daniela Bagozzi said:
“A draft manuscript was provided by the authors to WHO and inadvertently posted on the website and taken down as soon as the mistake was noticed. The manuscript is now undergoing peer review and we are waiting for a final version before WHO comments on it.”
Gilead itself has also provided an explanation to justify itself. The company disputed the WHO’s post, saying:
“We regret that the WHO prematurely posted information regarding the study, which has since been removed. The investigators in this study did not provide permission for publication of results.”
Gilead Sciences further added:
“Furthermore, we believe the post included inappropriate characterizations of the study. Importantly, because this study was terminated early due to low enrollment, it was underpowered to enable statistically meaningful conclusions. As such, the study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in disease.”
According to WHO, they will closely review the results and later post official data.
Meanwhile, doctors believe that an antiviral drug like remdesivir could be most effective when treating the disease, as it helps keep the virus from replicating in the blood.