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  • Conversation: Gilead will test inhaled remdesivir in earlier-stage COVID-19

    • June 23, 2020 2:42 PM BST
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      Gilead will test inhaled remdesivir in earlier-stage COVID-19

      Gilead Sciences plans to start testing an inhaled formulation of its lead COVID-19 therapy remdesivir – currently dosed intravenously – that could allow it to be given to earlier-stage patients outside hospital.
      In an open letter, Gilead’s chief executive Daniel O’Day said the new formulation of the drug – given via a nebuliser – will be given to healthy volunteers in a phase 1 trial due to start in August.
      If it works, the inhaled version of the antiviral “could have significant implications in helping to stem the tide of the pandemic”, according to O’Day.
      Remdesivir was the first drug to be shown to have an effect on COVID-19 in controlled clinical trials, and is currently the only drug with emergency use authorisation to treat COVID-19 in the US after the FDA pulled approval for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine last week.
      Gilead’s drug has shown that it can reduce the time spent in hospital for patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 symptoms – down to 11 days from around 15 in a trial run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) – although it hasn’t been proven to improve the chances of surviving the disease.
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