In a positive news about the fight to find a drug against the novel coronavirus, the World Health Organization said that it has found that there are signs that the United States based company Gilead’s drug remdesivir could be able to help treat the deadly coronavirus.
This news pushed shares of the American biotech company Gilead Sciences by almost 5 per cent pon Monday % Monday after an official from the World Health Organization said that Gilead’s drug remdesivir is showing signs that it may be able to help treat the deadly coronavirus.
“There is only one drug right now that we think may have real efficacy and that’s remdesivir,” Bruce Aylward, an assistant director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said at a press conference in Beijing.
Currently the company is conducting clinical trials of the drug remdesivir on humans and the outcome of the trials may be available within a few weeks, added WHO officials.
Two trials for people who have been infected by the coronavirus – now officially named as Covid-19 virus, is currently ongoing, Gilead Sciences has confirmed to the media in an e-mail, and added that it is working on the project with health authorities in China.
“The two studies — one in patients with severe disease and another in patients with moderate disease — are currently enrolling participants and we anticipate results in April,” the Gilead Sciences spokesman said.
The company had confirmed earlier this month about it working together with Chinese health authorities to test out whether its an experimental drug remdesivir, that was put to use for treatment of the Ebola virus, could be helpful in fighting coronavirus symptoms, Gilead Sciences had said.
Some success in treating MERS and SARS, two viruses similar to the Wuhan coronavirus, was seen among animals that were treated with remdesivir, the company had also said in a statement a few weeks ago.
There are also a number of pharma companies that are trying to find out a drug that could be used successfully to treat patients infected with coronavirus which include the likes of pharma giants Johnson & Johnson and GlaxoSmithKline.
A mixture of two of its HIV medications and Tamiflu had been found to show promising results for the treatment of coronavirus, Biotech company AbbVie (ABBV) has said. These two drugs had been developed by Swiss pharma giant Roche and Japan’s Chugai Pharmaceutical Co.
Efforts to try and find a treatment for the fast spreading and deadly coronavirus are also being carried out by smaller drug companies Moderna, Inovio Pharmaceuticals and Novavax.
(Adapted from CNN.com)