Gilead Sciences has announced encouraging additional data on remdesivir, the company’s investigational antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19.The data includes a comparative analysis of the Phase 3 SIMPLE-Severe trial and a real-world retrospective cohort of patients with severe COVID-19.“In this analysis, remdesivir was associated with an improvement in clinical recovery and a 62% reduction in the risk of mortality compared with standard of care – an important finding that requires confirmation in prospective clinical trials” the company stated.
Separate subgroup analyses from the Phase 3 SIMPLE-Severe trial, including an evaluation of the safety and efficacy of remdesivir across different racial and ethnic patient subgroups in the US, found that traditionally marginalized racial or ethnic groups treated with remdesivir experienced similar clinical outcomes as the overall patient population in the study.
Pfizer, BioNTech’s Coronavirus Vaccine Candidates Get FDA’s ‘Fast Track’ Status
The U.S.-listed shares of the German firm climbed about 10%, while Pfizer’s stock rose about 2% before the bell. The companies are in a global race with Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and others to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the new coronavirus, which has claimed over 568,500 lives globally, according to a Reuters tally.
There are no approved vaccines for COVID-19, and the United States and other countries have poured billions into their development as they seek to secure a safe and effective vaccine.
Scientists Focus on How Immune System T Cells Fight Coronavirus
Recent studies show that some recovered patients who tested negative for coronavirus antibodies did develop T cells in response to their COVID-19 infection. While the studies are small and have yet to be reviewed by outside experts, some scientists now say that people who experience a mild illness, or no symptoms at all, from the new coronavirus, may be eliminating the infection through this T cell response.
The findings add to the evidence that an effective COVID-19 vaccine will need to prompt T cells to work in addition to producing antibodies, and may have implications for several treatments in development. They may also shed light on how immunity to new exposure to infection could work.