Looks like remdesivir had some positive results against COVID-19. As reported in STAT news:
The preliminary data showed that the time to recovery was 11 days on remdesivir compared to 15 days for placebo, a 31% decrease. The mortality rate for the remdesivir group was 8%, compared to 11.6% for the placebo group; that mortality difference was not statistically significant.
A key question is whether this drug is ready for patients. Specifically, will drug manufacturers be able to produce enough of the drug to meet demand? In an interview, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day states:
…we had around 5,000 treatment courses in January. Today we have more than 50,000 treatment courses, and…140,000 treatment courses plus between now and July. And then we could ramp up, to the end of the year to multiple millions of treatment courses.
…this is a complicated chemical process…in January, it took around 12 months from end-to-end to produce this product. Now…we have that down to now around six months. And immediately in January, when we knew there was even a possibility this medicine could be effective, long before we had any idea, even before the in vitro data came through, we made the commitment as a company to say, this is too important. We have to make every investment that we can in the event that this works given the human need and the societal need here. So we started ordering new raw materials immediately in January.
A clear example of why drug development is so risky. If the remdesivir trial had failed, millions of dollars would have been wasted. Fortunately for patients, there is hope of an effective treatment on the horizon.