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News from Remdesivir tests

As everyone probably knows, they've been testing Remdesivir, developed originally to fight ebola. Today Dr. Fauci announced that they were going to stop testing with a placebo group vs. a group that gets the drug, because it was clear the drug helps. He said that the median recovery time for patients taking the drug was 11 days, compared with 15 days in the placebo group. There was a mortality rate of 8% for the group receiving Remdesivir versus 11.6% for the placebo group

Gilead, the lab that developed Remdesivir, simply announced that in their own testing, 50% of people getting a five-day dose of Remdesivir saw improvement.

Dr. Fauci compared this to when the first drugs were found to be helpful in the fight against AIDS. No one drug immediately solved the problem, but the first one that helped was encouraging.

Who was really encouraged was the stock market! (And me, who had been thinking getting Covid-19 would doom me to having a stroke or heart damage or just be an automatic death sentence.) Anyway, the market bounded upward at the news, though Gilead's stock, while it did go up, didn't go as crazy as one might expect. (Maybe the analysts read the news as "only" 50% of people improved). But the market on the whole clearly thought the glass was half full, not half empty. lol

4 Responses
Avatar universal
Not that I know anything but I am not too impressed with the numbers  -  11 days vs 15 days  for recovery and mortality 8% vs 11.6 for placebo groups.  That said it is finally some sort of good news and hopefully they can take lessons learned and build upon it.   We will see the market bounce wildly for quite some time.  Good also that restrictions are being lifted slowly although this concerns me.  That said, we cannot continue live in lock down like this as a society.   Some form of normalcy has to return with precautions.
134578 tn?1602101550
Even Dr. Fauci called the difference in the mortality rate "not statistically significant," it wasn't like it was being touted as a miracle. And the market didn't leap to buy Gilead stock at a frantic rate. But I think it jumped in general because people were so pleased to hear something undisputably positive (even if small) rather than "we don't have enough information yet to know." One thing that has been said about Remdesivir is that it hasn't been given early enough [it has been prescribed under the category of compassionate use exceptions]. Maybe now it can be prescribed in the normal course of events, and earlier.
Avatar universal
FWIW, " a new study is showing people who do experience this symptom are much more likely to have a mild case."  https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/national/coronavirus/study-confirms-loss-of-smell-and-taste-as-a-symptom-of-covid-19
(Anxious, did you mean this to be here or in the thread of the person who wrote saying he had lost his sense of smell?)
The reason the stock didn't go up more is that Gilead has said it intends to give it away for free, at least initially.  The stock market in general went up because there's no other place to put your money right now if you're lucky enough to have extra money to invest. Interest rates are zero, so no interest.  Housing isn't doing great, so real estate not great right now.  Ever since the 2008 recession when the Fed lowered interest rates the stock market has been the world's only game in town, and that's a large part of why it's done so well.  Investors want the economies of the world to reopen fast and a drug that helps do that is why they bid it up, but the above was right, the results are almost at placebo levels.  What Fauci was happy about was a mechanism was found that might help folks recover from it rather than get worse, and more research will now follow pursuing that mechanism.  That's what happened with HIV, but folks, HIV didn't go anywhere and we're still hoping for a vaccine.  Peace, all.
Avatar universal
In the 1,063-patient trial, run by the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the time it took for patients to recover was 11 days with remdesivir versus 15 days for patients in the placebo group.

The data also suggested a possible survival benefit — patients in the remdesivir arm had an 8 per cent mortality rate, compared to 11.6 per cent for the placebo group. The difference, however, "was not statistically significant, meaning it might have been due to chance."

It took ten years for a working vaccine for Polio to be widely available...and this one will probably take just as long or longer as the virus could mutate into stronger and more difficult strains.

I'm hoping for quicker action.  Polio was a long time ago.  Medical research is so far ahead of that capability now.  My main concern is that it's a corona virus, a type that has never yet had a successful vaccine.  My other concern is mutation, which is what makes the flu vaccine so unreliable year to year.  Some years it works okay, some years not at all, and it never works all the time.  Polio vaccine was much more consistently reliable.  But really, who knows?  Companies boast, the gov't is living in magical thinking, and the world isn't working together on it -- I think there are over 100 different groups working on different vaccines.  While there are advantages to competition, it could also turn out to be the nightmare testing has become, with most of the tests being unreliable too often.  We'll see.  I personally don't read in the newspaper doctors really talking a lot about remdesivir.  It's so nominally effective, if at all.  They are using a combination of things that are largely anecdotal, even though they have been reported in peer reviewed journals.  No time at a peak crisis to wait for double blind trials.  But it looks like there is some success with combining protease inhibitors with anti-clotting meds with simple things like not having folks lie on their backs.  Doctors are reporting, again anecdotally, a lot more confidence in what they're doing than when they first confronted this weird disease.  So there is hope, and the race for the vaccine has some pretty optimistic claims so far, but again, we'll see if this is competitive puffery or reality in time.
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