Hospital data leak sets remdesivir expectations

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The leak of anecdotal findings from a US hospital participating in Gilead’s trial of remdesivir for Covid-19 has done for the sector what Gilead’s own publication in the NEJM couldn’t. Those earlier findings, from 53 subjects treated under compassionate use, were hard to interpret without having an idea of how these patients might have done without remdesivir, though analysts expressed cautious optimism and said the report suggested efficacy. Yesterday Stat published an exclusive headlined “Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment”, based on a leaked recording of Dr Kathleen Mullane describing findings from 125 patients enrolled at University of Chicago Medicine into two remdesivir studies. Her most salient comment was that “most” patients had been discharged, and only two had died. Though this anecdotal finding is at least as bald as the NEJM paper’s, Gilead opened up 9% this morning, and took the Nasdaq biotechnology index with it, up 3%. The pressure is now on for Gilead not to disappoint when its remdesivir data are analysed formally and released next month (Gilead puts more Covid-19 subjects on remdesivir, April 9, 2020).

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