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Gilead Sciences (GILD) Stock Surges after Launching Phase 3 Studies for Coronavirus Treatment

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Gilead Sciences (GILD) Stock Surges after Launching Phase 3 Studies for Coronavirus Treatment

by Steve Muchoki · 3 min read

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Gilead Sciences (GILD) stock surged and reached an all-time high after the company confirmed the launching of phase 3 studies of coronavirus treatment.

Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ: GILD), an American biotech company that specializes in researching, developing and commercializing drugs, has seen its stock surge after it announced the launching of phase 3 studies for naval coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment. The stock price broke a very critical resistant level at $68 to trade above $70.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Gilead Sciences stock has started to achieve new highs. Though yesterday GILD closed at $72.66 (-2.73%), in the pre-market it is gaining again. At the time of writing, it is 0.88% up. Its price is $73.30.

For the past ten months, the GILD stock has been trading horizontally, after defying the downtrend that had dominated the better part of the last decade. The biotech company has been at the forefront in creating antiviral drugs which are mostly used in HIV, hepatitis B and C treatment and others.

After the deadly coronavirus broke in Wuhan China last year December, it has now spread all over the world claiming a lot of lives. The devastating nature of the virus has seen the stock market also suffer significantly.

In a research made on the coronavirus, it showed that the virus has similar traits as that from HIV, which does not have a cure but only treatment to suppress its effects. However, the coronavirus is attacking a different body system than HIV does. It leaves a begging question if the virus is an advancement of the HIV made as biotech warfare.

From that basis, Gilead has taken advantage of using their study of HIV treatment to further advance finding a cure for COVID-19. In a report from the company made on Thursday, the company said that its nascent coronavirus treatment will undergo an advance human testing in Asia.

According to the company, around 1,000 coronavirus victims from Asia region who are suffering from the virus will receive varying doses of the remdesivir as part of the study. Remdesivir has been recognized by the World Health Organization after it said that the drug may be the only one right now that may have real efficacy in treating COVID-19.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) Stock Future amidst Coronavirus

As coronavirus continues spreading fears all over the world with more countries confirming new cases, the rush for a vaccine and cure is pushing biotech companies to the limit. As of Friday morning, Nigeria confirmed its first COVID-19 case, becoming the first sub-Saharan country in Africa to test a victim with the virus. In total, over 80,000 cases have been officially confirmed worldwide and counting.

It leaves Gilead with other biotech companies with the advantage of coming up with a drug that will treat the deadly virus. The drug from the company has also been used by the U.S. doctors in treating the first domestic coronavirus case, although not yet approved.

If the phase three test comes out positive, it will be a huge breakthrough for the company which might see its stock soar even much higher. It actually might be the beginning of the sharp uptrend that will come in the near future.

Gilead launches remdesivir’s Phase III trials in Covid-19 patients

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Gilead Sciences has commenced two Phase III clinical trials of its investigational antiviral drug, remdesivir, for the treatment of Covid-19 in adults.

This announcement comes after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted and reviewed the company’s investigational new drug (IND) application for remdesivir in this indication.

The randomised, open-label, multi-centre studies will assess the safety and efficacy of the drug in nearly 1,000 patients. A five-day and ten-day dosing regimen of an intravenous formulation of remdesivir will be tested.

The trials will mainly be conducted at sites in Asian countries impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. From March, sites will be added in other countries with a higher number of confirmed cases.

One of the trials will enrol around 400 patients with severe clinical manifestations of the novel coronavirus disease, while the second trial will involve about 600 patients with moderate clinical manifestations.

In addition to standard of care, participants will be given a 200mg dose of the drug on day one, followed by a 100mg dose every day until day five or ten.

Both trials will evaluate clinical improvement as the primary endpoint.

The primary endpoint in the first trial will be measured by the normalisation of fever and oxygen saturation. The second trial will record the measure based on the proportion of patients discharged by day 14.

Gilead Sciences chief medical officer Merdad Parsey said: “Gilead’s primary focus is on rapidly determining the safety and efficacy of remdesivir as a potential treatment for Covid-19, and this complementary array of studies helps to give us a more expansive breadth of data globally on the drug’s profile in a short amount of time.”

The initiation of these Phase III trials comes a day after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a trial of remdesivir in Covid-19 patients at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).

Two studies led by the China-Japan Friendship Hospital are already being conducted in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak in China.

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