Early results from COVID-19 drug trial boost optimism

Early results from COVID-19 drug trial boost optimism
Source: Public Radio International

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top United States infectious disease official, has expressed confidence in biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc.’s experimental antiviral drug remdesivir being the “standard of care” for COVID-19.

This comes after preliminary results from a key clinical trial were shown on Wednesday, April 29 that patients given remdesivir recovered 31% faster than those who received a placebo – results that were celebrated by Fauci as “highly significant.” However, Fauci also cautioned that the results of the study still needed to be properly peer-reviewed.

Gilead’s shares rose by more than 5% on Wednesday to close at $83.14 and are up 27% so far this year. As a result, markets also rallied with the S&P 500 gaining nearly 3%.

In response, US President Donald Trump pushed for a crash vaccine program, saying “I want them to go as quickly as they can.” The idea of a program as such would be to accelerate the entire process – create, test, and mass-produce.

However, people within and outside of the administration remain wary of embarking on a rushed approach. Public health experts have warned that expediting the process could undermine the treatment’s effectiveness.
This also comes amid a time when some US states are easing lockdown regulations, with insufficient testing being the main reason others refuse to reopen.

However, in a breakthrough announcement, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles tweeted that all residents now have the option of being tested, regardless of whether they are symptomatic or not.


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