Results from a Chinese trial of Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir show no benefit in COVID-19 patients, according to data accidentally posted on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website.
The leaked summary of the 237-patient trial, which was quickly removed when the WHO realized its mistake, did not show clinical benefit in severely ill, hospitalized adult COVID-19 patients. The trial ended prematurely after the Chinese researchers encountered enrollment difficulties.
A Gilead spokesperson said that the study’s investigators did not grant permission for the data to be posted and also claimed they might actually indicate a positive response to the antiviral drug.
“The study results are inconclusive, though trends in the data suggest a potential benefit for remdesivir, particularly among patients treated early in disease," Gilead said. “We believe the post included inappropriate characterizations of the study. Importantly, because this study was terminated early due to low enrollment, it was underpowered to enable statistically meaningful conclusions.”
Gilead is currently researching the drug’s viability for treating COVID-19 in two phase 3 studies. — James Miessler