Report says COVID-19 patients respond to Gilead's remdesivir, shares surge

Written By BlabberBuzz | Source: Reuters | Friday, 17 April 2020 01:30

(Reuters) - Gilead Sciences Inc’s shares surged 16% in after hours trading on Thursday following a media report detailing encouraging partial data from trials of the U.S.

company’s experimental drug remdesivir in severe COVID-19 patients.

A University of Chicago hospital participating in a study of the antiviral medication said it is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week, according to medical news website SThere

Gilead, in an emailed statement, said “the totality of the data need to be analyzed in order to draw any conclusions from the trial.”

UChicago Medicine, also in an email, said “partial data from an ongoing clinical trial is by definition incomplete and should never be used to draw conclusions.”

The university said information from an internal forum for research colleagues concerning work in progress was released without authorization.

Gilead expects results from its Phase 3 study in patients with severe COVID-19 at the end of this month, and additional data from other studies to become available in May.

IRAN CONTINUES TO PUSH BUTTONS IN THE GULF

IRAN CONTINUES TO PUSH BUTTONS IN THE GULF

The University of Chicago is one of 152 locations participating in Gilead’s trial involving severe COVID-19 patients, which is “single arm” meaning it does not measure the drug against a matched group of patients treated with a placebo. A trial of patients with moderate COVID-19 symptoms has 169 study locations.

There are currently no approved treatments for COVID-19, the highly contagious respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus that has infected over 2 million people worldwide.

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BIDEN ADMIN STAYS STUPID AS THE ENTIRE COUNTRY NEEDS TO GET BACK TO WORK (VIDEO)

STAT reported that UChicago Medicine recruited 113 people with severe COVID-19 into Gilead’s trial. It said most of them have been discharged and two patients died.

The “anecdotal data ... looks promising on the surface and continues to support some potential for the drug to be active in certain COVID-19 patients,” RBC Capital Markets analyst Brian Abrahams said in a research note. “Nonetheless, there are major limitations to contextualizing and interpreting this data.”

FAUCI THINKS THE US UNDERCOUNTED THEIR DEAD, DESPITE EVERY EXPERT SAYING OTHERWISE

FAUCI THINKS THE US UNDERCOUNTED THEIR DEAD, DESPITE EVERY EXPERT SAYING OTHERWISE

Interest in Gilead’s drug amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been high. The New England Journal of Medicine last week published an analysis showing that two-thirds of a small group of severely ill COVID-19 patients saw their condition improve after treatment with remdesivir.

The paper’s author called the findings “hopeful,” but cautioned it is difficult to interpret the results since they do not include comparison to a control group, the patient numbers were small, the details being disclosed were limited, and the follow-up time was relatively short.

DEMS PROCEED WITH THEIR POWER GRAB LAWS

DEMS PROCEED WITH THEIR POWER GRAB LAWS

The U.S National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease in February began an 800-patient trial that randomly assigns patients to treatment with either remdesivir or a placebo. Those results are not expected until after Gilead’s trial reads out.

Shares of Gilead, which closed at $76.54 in regular trading, were up 16% at $89.10 after hours.

Dow futures rally 800 points after Gilead coronavirus drug reportedly shows effectiveness

This article was sourced from CNBC World-News

BIDEN ROLLS BACK ANOTHER GREAT TRUMP IMMIGRANT POLICY

BIDEN ROLLS BACK ANOTHER GREAT TRUMP IMMIGRANT POLICY

VIDEO6:0906:09 Gilead up on positive early data on Remdesivir and coronavirus Fast Money

U.S. stock futures surged on Thursday night after a report said a Gilead Sciences drug was showing effectiveness in treating the coronavirus.

The move pointed to a jump for the stock market on Friday.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 854 points, implying a Friday opening gain of about 841 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures also pointed to gains for the two indexes at the Friday open.

Gilead shares jumped by 16.41% in after-hours trading after STAT news reported that a Chicago hospital treating coronavirus patients with Remdesivir in a trial were recovering rapidly from severe symptoms. The publication cited a video it obtained where the trial results were discussed.

"This is obviously good news. Of course, we've heard a few other pieces of good news like this recently and they didn't pan-out as well as people had hoped," said Matt Maley, chief market strategist at Miller Tabak, in an email. "The big question is whether it's going to be enough to help the economy 're-open' more quickly than people are thinking right now."

"To me, the critical issue is employment," Maley added. "If the economy can bounce back quickly enough to take the unemployment rate back into the low-single digits quickly, that's going to be very bullish."

Other studies have shown Remdesivir to be an effective treatment against the coronavirus. However, they have been smaller in scale.

"An effective treatment is a huge deal and would create a path to open the economy and resume normal 'social activities' way sooner than a vaccine," said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors. "A treatment is safer and more scalable because it is only given to people who need to be treated."

Boeing shares also jumped about 7% after the airplane maker said it would resume production in the Seattle area as early as April 20. 

Stocks tumbled from record highs in February into a bear market a month later as the spread of the coronavirus roiled market sentiment and the economic outlook. 

More than 2 million cases have been confirmed worldwide, including over 650,000 in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. Governments urged people to stay home, effectively shutting down the global economy. 

However, the stock market has rallied since March 23 as new coronavirus cases in the U.S. and globally showed signs of plateauing. President Donald Trump said Thursday that "our experts say the curve has flattened and the peak … is behind us." He also issued guidelines to open up parts of the U.S.

Since late March, the S&P 500 has jumped more than 25% while the Dow has gained 26.6% in that time. Stocks also got a boost after the Federal Reserve cut rates to zero and stabilized credit markets while Congress passed a stimulus plan. 

To be sure, the outbreak has already dealt a massive blow to the economy. In four weeks, about 22 million Americans have lost their jobs. Retail sales posted last month their biggest fall on record.

Some investors have also said that news of an effective treatment or vaccine would be needed for stocks to mount a sustainable comeback.

"If it is effective in keeping someone from contracting the virus or, more likely, simply reduces its severity, that would be a game changer and [would] allow the economy to restart both more quickly and more fully," said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at The Leuthold Group, about the Remdesivir trial report. 

—CNBC's Yun Li, Pippa Stevens and Tom Franck contributed to this report.

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This article was sourced from Reuters

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