President Donald Trump hailed good news that a Gilead Sciences Inc. experimental antiviral drug might help fight the coronavirus, and infectious disease official Anthony Fauci said data shows it appears to help patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Fauci said the early results of a closely watched clinical trial offered "quite good news" regarding a potential therapy made by the biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc.
"The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," Fauci said.
An experimental drug for the coronavirus has a proven benefit, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," Fauci said
Early Wednesday morning, Gilead issued a news release saying it had become aware of results from the NIAID trial showing its experimental drug remdesivir helped patients recover more quickly than standard care, suggesting it could become the first effective treatment for an illness that has turned modern life inside-out.
NIAID's trial enrolled more than 1,000 patients internationally and compared remdesivir treatment alongside supportive care with a placebo. Patients who got the drug recovered in an average of 11 days, while those who get a placebo recovered in 15 days, Fauci said.
The results were "highly significant if you look at the time to recovery," Fauci said.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated it is in talks with Gilead to make the medicine available quickly.
Fauci cautioned data on the drug needs to be further analyzed.
Some trial data for the drug will likely be announced later Wednesday at a White House task force briefing, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Gilead (GILD) on Wednesday said remdesivir helped improve outcomes for patients with COVID-19.
There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for the highly contagious novel coronavirus, but many approaches are being tried while awaiting an effective vaccine to prevent infection by the virus.
Trump said it is a beginning that can be built upon.
"It's a positive; it's a very positive event,” Trump said.
Asked by Fox Business Network earlier if the results announced by Gilead were a positive for the economy, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said: "Has to be a tremendous positive."
"These are confidence-inspiring things that will help open the economy and get folks back to work," he said of any drug trials that show promise.
This report contains material from Reuters and Bloomberg News.
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