WHO leaks inconclusive Gilead remdesivir trial results

April 24, 2020

Data from the first clinical study evaluating Gilead's investigational antiviral remdesivir in patients with severe COVID-19 disease in China was prematurely posted on the World Health Organization website — and then removed.

Last week, the drugmaker reported that it had halted a Chinese trial, along with a study aimed a patients with milder symptoms, due to low enrollment.

A screenshot of the WHO posting, captured by STAT, showed the trial enrolled 237 patients with 158 receiving remdesivir compared with 79 who got a placebo. The rate of death was similar at 13.9% for remdesivir versus 12.8% in the control group.

Gilead released a statement saying the results were published without permission of study investigators and that the post "included inappropriate characterizations of the study" since the the study was terminated early and thus was "underpowered to enable statistically meaningful conclusions."

According to the drugmaker, there are multiple ongoing Phase 3 studies that are designed to provide the additional data needed to determine the potential for remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment, and the first round of data will be available at the end of this month.