Covid-19 patients who have been treated with a drug called remdesivir showed signs of recovery, according to the University of Chicago Medicine researchers participating in clinical trials.
Covid-19 can cause severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome in some patients. Currently, there is no approved therapy for COVID -19, but remdesivir is considered a front-runner in the race to develop a treatment for COVID-19 infections that works. Remdesivir made by Gilead Sciences has shown positive results on treated patients.
The University of Chicago administered 'Remdesivir' daily to 125 Covid-19 patients, and it has been successful in alleviating fever and respiratory symptoms, and even most severe patients were discharged after six days.
Dr. Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago who is leading the clinical trial, said, "The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We've only had two patients perish."
However, a University of Chicago spokesperson said in an email on Friday morning "Partial data from an ongoing clinical trial is by definition incomplete and should never be used to draw conclusions about the safety or efficacy of a potential treatment that is under investigation."
"In this case, information from an internal forum for research colleagues concerning work in progress was released without authorization. Drawing any conclusions at this point is premature and scientifically unsound."
Remdesivir, which was developed as an Ebola treatment, was not commercially available due to insufficient efficiency results.
But, experiments with animals displayed efficiency against MERS, a type of coronavirus, and is receiving attention as a therapeutic agent for Covid-19.
President Trump has mentioned about remdesivir previously, he stated, "There are promising therapies produced by Gilead, and that's remdesivir. Remdesivir. And that's a drug used for other purposes that's been out and has had very good results for other purposes, but it seems to have a very good result, having to do with this virus. And that drug also has been approved or very close to approved, in that case, by the FDA."
The pharmaceutical company Gilead has been conducting phase 3 clinical trials for 2,400 patients with severe Covid-19 symptoms in 152 trial sites around the world and 1,600 patients with moderate symptoms at 169 hospitals and clinics worldwide since March.
The results are expected to be released at the end of this month for severe patients and moderate patients for the next month. If the stability and drug efficacy are proved in the Phase 3 trial, they will be available for sale.
"We understand the urgent need for a COVID-19 treatment and the resulting interest in data on our investigational antiviral drug remdesivir," the company said in a statement to CNN.
The company continued, "The totality of the data needs to be analyzed in order to draw any conclusions from the trial. Anecdotal reports, while encouraging, do not provide the statistical power necessary to determine the safety and efficacy profile of remdesivir as a treatment for Covid-19."