Gilead says COVID-19 recovery drug hit primary target

Gilead Sciences Inc. said data from a U.S. study of its drug remdesivir showed the medication had met the primary endpoint in a trial of its effectiveness in treating COVID-19.

The company said in a statement that it is aware of positive data emerging from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ study of remdesivir for treating the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

Gilead shares were halted, but the news appeared to lift the entire U.S. stock market, with futures linked to major U.S. indexes jumping after the company’s statement was issued.

The U.S.-run trial looked at whether patients getting Gilead’s drug recovered from the disease faster than patients getting a placebo treatment plus standard care for the illness.

The trial, run by the National Institutes of Health, aimed to sign up about 800 patients to test the drug and give a definitive answer as to whether it can help treat the illness.

A NIAID representative didn’t immediately respond to a call seeking comment.Remdesivir, which was originally developed to treat other coronaviruses like SARS and has also been tested on Ebola, isn’t licensed or approved for use anywhere in the world.

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