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Gilead touts 'positive data' on drug as coronavirus treatment

Gilead Sciences said Wednesday it is aware of “positive data” emerging from a clinical trial studying one of its drugs as a potential treatment for COVID-19. 

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’s study of remdesivir, an experimental antiviral, has reached its primary endpoint, Gilead said, meaning the drug was found to be effective in the trial. 

The institute, which is headed by Anthony FauciAnthony FauciWhite House admits July 4 vaccine marker will be missed Overnight Health Care: White House acknowledges it will fall short of July 4 vaccine goal | Fauci warns of 'localized surges' in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance leader releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices Poll: 58 percent say Fauci should not resign MORE, a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, is expected to release more information Wednesday, Gilead said. 

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The study, which began in February, is evaluating the safety and efficacy of remdesivir in hospitalized adults with COVID-19. 

There is no proven COVID-19 treatment yet, though hundreds of clinical trials are ongoing all around the world to find one. Scientists have high hopes for remdesivir, which was originally developed as a potential treatment for Ebola, but was found to be ineffective. 

Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration commissioner under President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE, said on CNBC Wednesday he thinks the drug is probably not a “home run” treatment for COVID-19, but it could help people avoid worse outcomes. 

“It’s not going to be a cure, but it is going to be a drug potentially that if you use it particularly early in the course of a disease — you hang it in the emergency room when someone comes in with COVID, especially someone with risk factors that predict they’ll have a worse outcome from the disease —  it could reduce their chances of having a really bad outcome,” he said, adding that is the case with other antivirals used to treat the flu. 

Markets in the U.S. quickly rose on the news of the treatment.