Gilead antiviral to undergo trials for coronavirus

Feb. 3, 2020

Gilead Sciences has formalized an agreement with Chinese authorities to conduct a clinical trial of the drug remdesivir in patients infected with the coronavirus.

While the drug isn’t approved for use in humans by regulators, it was developed to combat infectious diseases such Ebola and SARS. It will now be tested by a medical team from Beijing-based China-Japan Friendship Hospital for efficacy in treating the deadly new strain of coronavirus.

There is evidence that the drug will be effective: it was administered to an infected patient in Washington state on the seventh day of his hospitalization. The following day the patient’s clinical condition improved and after four days, all symptoms were gone except his cough.

The remdesivir trial will be conducted in the central Chinese city of Wuhan — the origin of the outbreak that has so far killed more than 360 people and sickened over 17,000 in China.

Shares of Gilead jumped by as much as 13% in pre-market action Monday morning in response to the research agreement.

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