Gilead Sciences Inc’s remdesivir had little or no effect on length of hospital stay for COVID-19 patients or their chances of survival, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) clinical study.
The antiviral drug, one of the first to be used to treat COVID-19, was one of the drugs recently used to treat US President Donald Trump’s coronavirus infection.
The results come from the WHO “Solidarity” study, which looked at the effects of four potential drug regimens, including remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, the combination of lopinavir / ritonavir and interferon for HIV, in 11,266 adult patients in more than 30 countries.
The study found that therapies for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 appeared to have little or no impact on 28-day mortality or length of hospital stay, the WHO said Thursday.
The results of the study have yet to be checked and have been uploaded to the medRxiv preprint server.
Earlier this month, data from a U.S. study by Gilead of remdesivir showed that treatment reduced COVID-19 recovery time by five days, compared to patients given placebo in a study of 1,062 patients.
“The emerging data (WHO) appear to be inconsistent, with more robust evidence from multiple randomized controlled trials published in peer-reviewed journals confirming the clinical benefits of remdesivir,” Gilead told Reuters.
“We are concerned that the data from this open global study has not been subjected to the rigorous review necessary to enable constructive scientific discussion, especially given the limitations of the study design.”
Soumya Swaminathan, WHO chief scientist, said on Wednesday that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir / ritonavir were discontinued during the June trial after they were found to be ineffective. However, other studies continued in more than 500 hospitals and 30 countries.
“We’re looking at what’s next. We are looking at monoclonal antibodies, we are looking at immunomodulators, and we are looking at some of the newer antiviral drugs that have been developed in the past few months,” Swaminathan said.
Remdesivir received emergency approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on May 1 and has since been approved for use in several countries.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)