(Benzinga) – Gilead Sciences, Inc.’s GILD antiviral drug remdesivir has been found to have “little or no effect on mortality on hospitalized COVID-19,” a global study conducted by the World Health Organization has concluded. The study is posted on a pre-print server and is yet to be peer-reviewed.
What Happened: WHO performed a global study — covering more than 11,000 patients in 30 countries — to find the effectiveness of four drugs, Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir (fixed-dose combination with Ritonavir), and Interferon-β1a, in treating coronavirus patients.
“For each drug in the study, the effect on mortality was disappointingly unpromising,” WHO said in a statement, as per CNN. The international team of researchers has submitted its findings to a medical journal.
Gilead in a statement to the Financial Times said “the emerging data appear inconsistent with more robust evidence from multiple randomized, controlled studies validating the clinical benefit of remdesivir.”
WHO’s Solidarity trial will continue to evaluate other treatments, including newer antiviral drugs, immunomodulators, and anti-SARS COV-2 monoclonal antibodies, the United Nations agency said.
These include Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s REGN dual antibody cocktail drug and Eli Lilly And Co’s LLY double-antibody therapy.
Why It’s Important: There is no approved cure or vaccine to treat COVID-19 yet. Some studies have shown remdesivir helps hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover faster and slow down the progression of the disease.
The drug was granted Emergency Use Authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May, and Gilead has sought a complete approval for the drug.
Remdesivir — initially developed by Gilead to treat Ebola — was also one of the drugs administered to President Donald Trump when he tested positive for COVID-19.
Price Action: GILD shares closed 1.70% lower to $62.96 on Thursday, and trading 0.24% lower in the after-hours session.