Concerns over leaks compelled the top U.S. infectious disease official to disclose data on Gilead Sciences’ experimental drug remdesivir, the first in a scientifically rigorous clinical trial to show benefit in treating COVID-19.
The dramatic assertion by Dr. Anthony Fauci in the Oval Office Wednesday prompted issues amongst scientists that the U.S. administration was raising hopes a few coronavirus treatments before sharing the full data with researchers.
As a cautionary example of inflating the potential value of a therapy, some pointed to President Donald Trump’s repeated endorsements of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment, with no evidence that it works.
Newer information suggests the malaria remedies could carry significant dangers for some sufferers of the respiratory illness attributable to the virus.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which is running the trial, stated he took the first alternative to get the phrase out that sufferers taking a dummy treatment or placebo needs to be shifted to remdesivir in hopes of benefiting from it.
An independent data safety and monitoring board, which had regarded the preliminary results of the NIAID trial, decided it had met its primary purpose of reducing hospital stays.
On Tuesday evening, that data was conveyed in a conference call to scientists studying the drug internationally.