Gilead's shares rise on report of experimental drug's promise in COVID-19

By Manas Mishra (Reuters) - Shares of Gilead Sciences Inc rose 8% on Friday after a report that patients with COVID-19 treated with the company's experimental drug, remdesivir, in a clinical trial showed rapid recovery in fever and respiratory symptoms. There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for the novel coronavirus, which has infected 2.18 million globally, according to a Reuters tally, and remdesivir is one of the treatments that has captured investor attention.

Reuters April 18, 2020 00:06:03 IST
Gilead's shares rise on report of experimental drug's promise in COVID-19

Gileads shares rise on report of experimental drugs promise in COVID19

By Manas Mishra

(Reuters) - Shares of Gilead Sciences Inc rose 8% on Friday after a report that patients with COVID-19 treated with the company's experimental drug, remdesivir, in a clinical trial showed rapid recovery in fever and respiratory symptoms.

There are currently no approved treatments or vaccines for the novel coronavirus, which has infected 2.18 million globally, according to a Reuters tally, and remdesivir is one of the treatments that has captured investor attention.

But analysts and the company urged caution on drawing conclusions from the report by medical news website STAT that also helped buoy the broader markets.

Gilead said the totality of the data from the trial needed to be analyzed, and expects to report results from a study in severe COVID-19 patients at the end of the month, and data from other trials in May.

The report said the University of Chicago Medicine Hospital was seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms in patients with severe COVID-19 in a trial of the drug it was participating in.

"While the article paints a pretty picture, we think the ensuing exuberance shows a lack of critical analysis," said Baird analyst Brian Skorney.

Skorney added investors looking for a definitive conclusion when data from a study testing patients with severe COVID-19 is reported will likely be disappointed, as the study offers no control, "just five days of remdesivir vs. 10 days of remdesivir."

Gilead also raised the trial enrollment of patients in the trial testing it in severe coronavirus patients to 6,000 from 2,400 - which Piper Sandler analysts said was in order to increase access to the drug.

Wall Street rose on Friday, also boosted by President Donald Trump's new guidelines to reopen the economy and Boeing's plans to resume production. The benchmark S&P 500 index has fallen nearly 12% this year.

Gilead's shares, which have risen 17.8% this year, were up nearly 8.1% at $82.71 in noon trading.

"There will no doubt be cautionary announcements by various scientific bodies about the validity of a partial set of results from a tiny trial," said Jeffrey Halley, a markets analyst at OANDA.

"Markets, though, will likely do their very best to ignore those, preferring to concentrate on ... a potential treatment for COVID-19 symptoms."

(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.