Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Joseph Curl.
The experimental COVID-19 treatment remdesivir, often touted by President Trump as a possible "gamechanger," is showing promise in a Chicago clinical trial, according to the health news site STAT.
Patients in the Chicago trial rapidly recovered after being treated with the drug, which alleviated their fever and respiratory symptoms ailments. Nearly all of the patients were discharged in less than a week, the site said
Trump has called remdesivir a "promising" drug that could be used in the treatment of COVID-19. Until recently, there was little data to show that the drug was effective, until the new trial.
"Remdesivir was one of the first medicines identified as having the potential to impact SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, in lab tests,"
STAT reported. "The entire world has been waiting for results from Gilead's clinical trials, and positive results would likely lead to fast approvals by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies. If safe and effective, it could become the first approved treatment against the disease."
- The University of Chicago Medicine recruited 125 people with Covid-19 into Gilead's two Phase 3 clinical trials. Of those people, 113 had severe disease. All the patients have been treated with daily infusions of remdesivir.
- "The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We've only had two patients perish," said Kathleen Mullane, the University of Chicago infectious disease specialist overseeing the remdesivir studies for the hospital.
The University of Chicago's Kathleen Mullane said the study is not extensive enough to yet draw conclusions and does not include a placebo group, but said that when patients start to use the drug, fever curves tend to fall rapidly.
"Fever is now not a requirement for people to go on trial; we do see when patients do come in with high fevers, they do [reduce] quite quickly,"
Mullane said. "We have seen people come off ventilators a day after starting therapy. So, in that realm, overall our patients have done very well... Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn't have to be 10 days. We have very few that went out to 10 days, maybe three."
Remdesivir was originally created as a potential treatment for the Ebola and Marburg viruses. Other drugs touted by Trump - including chloroquine and a closely related drug, hydroxychloroquine - have also shown promise in early tests, and many doctors are already prescribing the drugs for COVID-19 patients.
Trump said last month that the drugs "could have a very positive effect, or a positive effect, maybe not very, but maybe positive. It's very, very exciting."
Of chloroquine, a drug developed in the 1940s to treat malaria, Trump said: "It's been around a long time, so if things don't go well, we know it won't kill anyone,"
calling the drug a possible "game changer."
The new report sent Gilead Sciences stocks surging - Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumping 789 points, S&P 500 futures rising 2.9%, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbing 2%.
Shares for Gilead, which is coordinating the clinical trials, surged by more than 13% after the report by STAT
detailed the extremely promising results out of a Chicago hospital that is part of a larger clinical study on the effectiveness of the new potential treatment.
Analysts are pointing to the report as the key factor positively impacting the market. "An effective treatment is a huge deal and would create a path to open the economy and resume normal 'social activities' way sooner than a vaccine,"
said Fundstrat Global Advisors researcher Tom Lee, as reported by CNBC
. "A treatment is safer and more scalable because it is only given to people who need to be treated."