Gilead poised to upend market with its first Covid-19 study data

Company-run study data expected by the end of next week
By Cristin Flanagan | Bloomberg |

BLOOMBERG - Gilead Sciences Inc., whose Covid-19 treatment has whipsawed markets amid conflicting early reports about its efficacy, is set to report the first results from a company-sponsored study of the experimental drug.

Data from the first 400 severely ill coronavirus patients being treated with Remdesivir in an open-label study are expected before the end of next week. While not expected to provide a definitive answer on efficacy, the report is likely to again trigger wide swings in Gilead’s shares and the broader market. Options prices show investors expect a more than 9% move in the drugmaker’s stock price over the next week.

University of California, Riverside virologist Juliet Morrison expressed a similar sentiment. “We still don’t have the raw data, but it doesn’t seem impressive to me,” she said in a phone interview after the China data reports. For diseases like Covid-19 driven by a patient’s own immune system, “antivirals are unlikely to work. And they won’t be helpful at the severe stages of the disease when the virus is not the driving factor,” she said.

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