In the race to find a treatment for patients with COVID-19 infections, Foster City-based Gilead Sciences is going all in on its experimental drug, remdesivir.
It took only eight days in early February for the biopharmaceutical company to fill its first vials of remdesivir, an experimental antiviral drug, to proceed with clinical trials and emergency use as a treatment for the novel coronavirus.
“From that moment on, it was all hands on deck,” Charlie Langdon, senior director of manufacturing of the Gilead’s La Verne facility, announced on the company’s website. “This wasn’t just one department—this was literally our entire site coming together and strategizing about what we needed to be done to make this happen as quickly as possible.
On the first day of this month, the FDA finally authorized remdesivir for emergency use, making it easier t administer to hospitalized patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government will now lead an effort to distribute the treatment.
A recent report published in the New England Journal of Medicine tracked 53 people who were given a 10-day course of remdesivir. The patients were hospitalized with COVID-19, needed respiratory support and received the treatment on a compassionate-use basis, which allows people to take unapproved medicines when no other approved treatment options are available.
Over a median follow-up of 18 days, 36 of the 53 patients showed oxygen improvement, while 15 percent of the patients worsened. Of the 30 patients who received invasive mechanical ventilation, the study found that 17 were able to get off their breathing device.
All told, 47 percent of the patients were reportedly discharged, while 13 percent died.
Due to a lack of a control group in the study, however, some in the biomedical industry have expressed skepticism with the results.
“The data from this paper are almost uninterpretable,” Stephen Evans, a professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said in a Bloomberg.com article. “There is some evidence suggesting efficacy, but we simply do not know what would have happened to these patients had they not been given the drug.”
Gilead Sciences turned down a phone interview request from San Jose Inside, replying with an email, saying: “We are not able to make an interview work at this time.”
Remdesivir has become a promising therapeutic treatment for COVID-19 due to its broad antiviral spectrum activity against members of several virus families, including filoviruses like Ebola and various coronaviruses.
However, researchers and scientists won’t get a clearer picture on whether remdesivir can be the eventual treatment for COVID-19 until the results of larger clinical trials are released in the coming weeks and months.
While Gilead promised to donate its initial supply of 1.5 million doses of the drug, the company told shareholders this week that it will need to start charging to make production economically feasible going forward.
“Going forward, we will develop an approach that is guided by the principles of affordability and access,” Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day told investors Wednesday on a call during the firm’s yearly meeting.
In a quarterly financial filing made earlier on the same day as the investor meeting, Gilead declared that its investment in remdesivir for 2020 “could be up to $1 billion or more,” with the bulk of it scaling up manufacturing capacity.
97% of people who have tested positive for COVID in the USA have recovered with no medical intervention. They stay home, suffer for a couple of weeks, and recover on their own. 94% of the people who have died of COVID in the USA had a major underlying medical condition that would have killed them anyway. COVID just fast forwarded the inevitable end.
Get a clue, people. This holy grail vaccine BS is of little importance to anyone except the people who will place a bet by buying the stock of the companies that put forward a vaccine…or shorting it if they believe the vaccine will fail, which it probably will do if total cure is the objective. Flu vaccines in the last decade have been effective in a range of 47% to no higher than 79%.
We’re being scammed people. Get a clue. Government has been relying on so-called experts who have relied on models that have proven grossly wrong in EVERY CASE, in order to strip us of our constitutional rights, all the way down to our freedom of movement.
N95 masks are 75% effective at best; much less if they are used all day without cleaning or replacement. Cloth masks are as close to useless as you can get. The holes in them that allow you to breathe are at least dozens of orders of magnitude larger than the size of a microscopic virus, which can slip through virtually unimpeded. Yet in my neighborhood I see tons of people wearing them while driving alone in their cars. How did the American people become so incredibly stupid and compliant to decrees that make no sense, and are not based on good science?
Wake up America. Memorial Day is just around the corner. Get out that day and peacefully protest the destruction of our economy and the shredding of our Constitutional rights. Oh, and could someone please wake up the ACLU, whose only concern lately has been to get prisoners released so they can commit more crimes.
> Government has been relying on so-called experts who have relied on models that have proven grossly wrong in EVERY CASE, in order to strip us of our constitutional rights, all the way down to our freedom of movement.
> Cloth masks are as close to useless as you can get.
> How did the American people become so incredibly stupid and compliant to decrees that make no sense, and are not based on good science?
What does science have to say, actually, about cloth mask? I suspect you are SCIENTIFICALLY correct about cloth masks being useless.
NON-elected public officials — Sarah Cody — have been ceded blanket authority to deprive citizens of freedom of movement, and freedom of association, and the Constitutionally guaranteed right to engage in commerce.
It is time for Sarah Cody, and the timid, sheep like elected public officials who defer to her “authority”, to make a case BASED ON SCIENCE justifying the emergency ORDER requiring county residents to wear the stupid, ineffective face masks.
SCIENCE suggests that “flattening the curve” does NOT decrease the number of coronavirus infections over the long term. Flattening the curve just extends the time period over which the infections occur. Roughly the same number of people will still get the infection. DO THE MATH!
The Constitution has NOT been suspended or put on hold, It is still fully in effect and limits the behavior of health experts even in time of real or alleged pandemics.
People are capable of making informed and wise decisions about their health and health risks. And the overwhelming majority of people WILL make wise decisions. But even if an irresponsible minority of people make imprudent choices, the well known SCIENTIFICALLY VALID principle of “herd immunity” will contain and “burn out” the epidemic without the unnecessary and repressive intervention of “experts” and bureaucrats.
> What does science have to say, actually, about cloth mask?
Well, science apparently says: “mumble, mumble, mumble.”
‘Report on face masks’ effectiveness for Covid-19 divides scientists”
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“The report is overly optimistic about the value of face coverings and it is incorrect to conclude that the evidence shows that face covering can reduce viral transmission in the community,” he said. “There is in fact no good evidence that face coverings achieve this.”
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“Based on what we now know about the dynamics of transmission and the pathophysiology of Covid-19, the negative effects of wearing masks outweigh the positive,” he said.
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“Medical-grade masks are not needed outside of healthcare settings. A cloth mask provides very good protection, and is more comfortable to wear,” she said.
[it’s nice that it’s comfortable to wear, but who is it protecting and from what?]
Here here jmoc & sjotb!
This virus will run it’s course. It’ll run it’s course in it’s inevitable, inexorable, haphazard, unpredictable way with “hotspots ” popping up occassionally and randomly, only to be expertly explained in hindsight by the “experts”. New infections will gradually dwindle to the point where even our career obsessed politicians will feel it is finally safe for them to uncover their asses and so they will grant the retched private sector the right to freely go about our lives provided we never ever forget that the only reason we’re still alive is because of the “science and data driven” measures they so heroically enacted.