The experimental drug remdesivir, from the Gilead Sciences laboratory, was tested for coronavirus treatment in China. Unfortunately, it failed in its first randomized clinical trial, the Financial Times (FT) newspaper reported on Thursday, but the manufacturer said the study results were inconclusive as the tests ended prematurely.

The Chinese drug trial showed that the antiviral remdesivir did not improve patients' condition nor reduce the presence of the pathogen in the bloodstream, according to the report, which cites drafts of published documents that the World Health Organization (WHO) accidentally published.

The drug manufacturer, Gilead, said in a statement that the publication included inadequate descriptions of the study, which was completed prematurely due to low enrollment rates and, as a result, does not allow for statistically significant conclusions.

"The study results are inconclusive, although the trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early," the company said.

Experimental antiviral drug Remdesivir fails first coronavirus clinical trial ...
The drug remdesivir failed to successfully fight off the new coronavirus

The WHO said that a draft document provided by the study authors was inadvertently posted on the organization's website. It was withdrawn as soon as the error was noted, and the WHO said the manuscript is being peer-reviewed and a final version is expected.

Coronavirus treatment requires multiple trials

Gilead is testing the drug in multiple trials, and the result of a trial involving 400 hospitalized patients with severe cases of the disease is expected later this month. Researchers in China studied 237 patients, administered the drug to 158, and compared their progress with the remaining 79.

The drug also showed significant side effects in some, so 18 patients were withdrawn from the trial, according to the Financial Times. There is a lot of interest in the Gilead drug because there are currently no approved treatments or preventive vaccines for COVID-19, and doctors are desperate for anything that can alter the course of the disease that attacks the lungs and can damage other organs in very severe cases.

The drug, which previously failed as a treatment for Ebola, is being tested against COVID-19, as it is designed to disable the mechanism by which certain viruses, including the new coronavirus, make copies of themselves and potentially overwhelm the immune system from the host.

Gilead antiviral drug remdesivir flops in first coronavirus trial | Financial ...
The rate of success for new vaccines and drugs is very low and research is costly

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