25 April 2020 – World’s scientist and nations with capabilities are fighting to treat the corona virus as its vaccine is far from working. Testing of various medicines are ongoing but non of them seems to work as it should be. What and when would be the vaccine or medication of this virus be available?
According to the news, The results of a Chinese clinical trial on the effectiveness of Gilead Sciences’ antiviral drug remdesivir as a COVID-19 corona-virus treatment found no benefits on patients and sent the biotech company’s stock tumbling Thursday, though Gilead is challenging the data.
The World Health Organization prematurely posted a draft summary of the China-based trial that was seen by STAT News before it was removed, with a WHO spokesperson telling the publication it’s still being peer reviewed and finalized.
Gilead challenged the results in an emailed statement, however, deeming them “inconclusive” given the clinical trial was ended early resulting in low enrollment, though it noted there were trends suggesting potential benefit for patients who received treatment early.
That didn’t stop Gilead’s stock from diving down 8% to $75.37 a share in the afternoon before recovering slightly to $77.78.
The trial was ended early because enrolling new patients became too challenging in China where cases are decreasing, according to STAT; but results indicated statistically insignificant differences between patients who died after taking remdesivir after one month (13.9%) versus patients in the control group (12.8%).
Last Friday, Gilead’s stock jumped up nearly 10% after a leaked clinical trial obtained by STAT from the University of Chicago Medicine found “rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms,” though it was not a randomized study.
There are other trials being conducted with the drug, including some in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Gilead Sciences’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merdad Parsey told Forbes in a statement: “The results of this trial in China, along with those of the compassionate use cohort of more critically ill patients published on April 10, add to a growing but still inconclusive body of evidence for remdesivir. Remdesivir is an unapproved investigation product, and the safety and efficacy of remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 are not yet known.”
On Tuesday, the NIAID, led by the United States’ top infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci, released guidelines reiterating that there is still no proven drug to treat the corona-virus. It further stated there is insufficient evidence that the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine benefits patients, one of the drugs President Trump has championed during White House briefings. Regardless of how trials for remdesivr or hydroxychloroquine pan out, they would not be preventive drugs. A vaccine would serve that purpose but is at the earliest a year away.
There are now nearly 2.7 million confirmed cases of the corona-virus with 187,330 reported deaths.
Clinical trials around potential treatments for the corona-virus have turned political. On Wednesday, in statements to the New York Times, Dr. Rick Bright, who was the director of the U.S. federal agency leading development of a vaccine up until Tuesday, claimed his removal was politically motivated because he expressed skepticism around unproven treatments touted by Trump and his administration. Bright has hired Debra Katz and Lisa Banks—best known for serving as Christine Blasey Ford’s legal representatives during Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination process—to challenge his termination. In a statement emailed to Forbes, Caitlin Oakley, an HHS spokesperson, said, “As it relates to chloroquine, it was Dr. Bright who requested an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for donations of chloroquine that Bayer and Sandoz recently made to the Strategic National Stockpile for use on COVID-19 patients.”
We can only pray and hope for the success of testing and invention of antivirus drug for current pandemic. What do you think of this situation? Please write your opinion below.