Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) reiterated that its drug remdesivir plays an “important role in treating patients with COVID-19” and said it is undergoing new clinical trials to assess safety and efficacy.
The drug, commercialised under the name Veklury, which was the first candidate to receive full approval in the US and the EU while it is also available as temporary treatment in the UK and Japan.
READ: Gilead Sciences slams WHO after trial shows remdesivir not effective in avoiding COVID-19 death
However, a study led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) proved that the candidate had little to no effect in helping patients’ chances of survival.
The trial, which also involved hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon regimens, spanned across 30 countries and involved 11,266 adult participants.
Earlier this month Gilead criticised the trial design, claiming its implementation, controls and patient populations were too different from each other.
In its quarterly results, the US pharma giant noted other trials which proved favourable to its drug.
A phase III trial concluded in the summer demonstrated that remdesivir was associated with an improvement in clinical recovery and a 62% reduction in the risk of mortality compared with the standard of care.
Another phase III study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases showed that treatment with Veklury resulted in consistent, clinically meaningful improvements across multiple outcome assessments compared with placebo in COVID-19 patients.
Gilead also started a new study in July to assess an inhaled formulation on the treatment in healthy volunteers.
In the quarter to September 30, group revenues jumped 17% to US$6.6bn, with Veklury bringing in US$873mln.
Shares dipped 1% to US$58.35 in premarket trading.