Preliminary results from a major study conducted by biotech company Gilead Sciences, shows that the experimental drug ‘remdesivir’ might help patients with COVID-19 recover faster.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hailed the findings released on Wednesday as “quite good news.”
“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Fauci said during a meeting with President Trump and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards at the White House. “This is highly significant.”
The trial was being conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Fauci said it was the first “truly high powered” randomised placebo-controlled trial of remdesivir, noting that it involved 1,063 hospitalised coronavirus patients around the world.
Results from the preliminary trial show remdesivir improved recovery time for coronavirus patients from 15 to 11 days.
In a statement to CNN, the FDA said it is in talks with Gilead Sciences about making the drug available to patients. “As part of the FDA’s commitment to expediting the development and availability of potential COVID-19 treatments, the agency has been engaged in … discussions with Gilead Sciences regarding making remdesivir available to patients as quickly as possible, as appropriate,” FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum said in statement.