A biotech company says its experimental drug has proved effective against the new coronavirus in a major U.S. government study that put it to a strict test.
Gilead Sciences’s remdesivir would be the first treatment to pass such a test against the virus, which has killed more than 218,000 people since it emerged late last year.
The study tested remdesivir versus usual care in about 800 hospitalized coronavirus patients around the world. The main result is how long it takes patients to recover.
Top medical expert at the White House Dr. Anthony Fauci announced the drug showed promise in fighting the coronavirus.
Health experts say the drug improved patient recovery time from 15 days to 11. Experts also say the drug had a smaller impact on lowering the death rate.
“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear cut significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," said Dr. Anthony Fauci. “Although a 31% improvement doesn't seem like a knock-out 100%, it is a very important proof of concept.”
The FDA would also still need to approve the drug before it can be widely used.
The National Institute of Health, which ran the experimental drug study, had no immediate comment.