Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday said that a Gilead Sciences study showing potential for treating the coronavirus with remdesivir was “quite good news.”
“The data shows that remdesivir has a clear-cut significant positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery,” Fauci said.
The NIH announced Wednesday that the data from a clinical trial showed that hospitalized patients with advanced coronavirus who received remdesivir recovered faster than similar patients who received a placebo.
Fauci said that the trial was “highly powered” with over 1,090 individuals on hospitalized patients with the coronavirus and said that the data showed “a very important proof of concept.”
“What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus,” he said.
The preliminary results of the drug trial showed at least 50% of patients treated with a five-day dosage of Remdesivir improved, according to Gilead Sciences.
Fauci said that the data reminded him of the first time that he discovered a drug that worked treating HIV in 1986.
He also said that the NIH had looked at the data and that it would later be peer-reviewed.
Fauci also criticized a Lancet published study from China showing that there were no significant results from remdesivir.
“It’s an underpowered study,” Fauci said. “I don’t like to poo-poo other studies, but that’s not an adequate study and everyone in the field feels that.”
Fauci said that the Federal Drug Administration was already working with Gilead Sciences on approving a drug, but could not offer a timetable for when it would be available on the market.
“We think it’s really opening the door to the fact that we now have the capability of treating, and I can guarantee you, as more people, more companies, more investigators get involved it’s going to be better and better,” Fauci said.
President Trump also signaled optimism about the news.
“I think it’s a beginning,” Trump said. “It means you build on it, I love that as a building block … certainly, it’s a very positive event.”