While a COVID-19 vaccine may still be months away, pharmaceutical companies are pushing forward with several viable treatments. Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) is ahead of the curve with its Remdesivir treatment, which received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday.
The company can now market its treatment for Coronavirus patients, offering relief during one of the deadliest health emergencies in America’s history.
Treatment for Moderate Cases of Coronavirus Infection
Remdesivir is a novel treatment for moderate forms of COVID-19 infection. It can help patients to recover quickly and with fewer complications. The treatment is administered intravenously, usually for five days.
President Donald Trump was one of the first to receive this drug after he tested positive earlier this month.
The approval is excellent news for Gilead and its stock. Shares were up 0.76% during day trading on Thursday and were up by 7.10% in the late stages of after-hours trading.
Controversy Surrounding the Drug
Treatment developments are good news for Americans and the economy, but there is some controversy surrounding Remdesivir. Despite its FDA approval, some groups have found that the drug isn’t as effective as its developers claim.
The World Health Organization conducted a study of almost 3,000 patients receiving Remdesivir and found that it had “little or no effect” on the survival rate. The study is yet to be peer-reviewed. It found that the drug didn’t have any effect on mortality and that it didn’t reduce the number of patients that needed to be ventilated. The study also found that the drug didn’t limit hospital stay duration.
Another study performed by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients taking a longer 10-day course didn’t have better outcomes than those who didn’t receive the drug.
Why is the FDA Approving a Controversial Drug?
Gilead Sciences believes that Remdesivir does work, and it has evidence to support this from its own studies. It’s important to note that the FDA approval is not an endorsement of the efficacy of the drug, but rather an indication that it is safe to use.
At the very least, it provides another treatment option for the virus that has now killed more than 226,000 Americans and 1.12 million people worldwide.
Gilead stock is expected to be strong in the coming weeks, especially if Remdesivir is widely adopted throughout the medical community. It remains a viable option for investors looking for bioscience picks during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
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