Gilead to investigate inhaled formulation of promising COVID-19 therapy remdesivir

pharmafile | June 23, 2020 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Research and Development COVID-19, Gilead, remdesivir 

Gilead is intent on pushing the applications of its antiviral drug remdesivir after it has shown efficacy in the treatment of COVID-19, with the company now revealing that it intends to begin testing on a new inhaled formulation of the therapy.

Remdesivir is currently administered via intravenous infusion (IV) meaning patients must visit a hospital to receive treatment with the drug.

Now, Gilead is proposing that the drug could be inhaled using a nebuliser, allowing patients to receive treatment from home or otherwise outside of the hospital setting, potentially meaning they can be treated earlier, an important factor in the application of antiviral therapies.

Gilead Chairman and CEO Daniel O’ Day said these benefits of the potential new formulation “could have significant implications in helping to stem the tide of the pandemic.” 

The move follows promising data released by Gilead at the beginning of June which showed that remdesivir improved clinical outcomes in patients with moderate COVID-19 compared to standard of care.

“The totality of these data shows that remdesivir has the potential to be of meaningful benefit to patients with COVID-19 and offers important hope,” said O’ Day. “In our ongoing studies, we will work to deliver on that hope and potentially benefit more patients.”

O’ Day confirmed that the company will be screening for healthy participants for the study this week, with the aim of launching trials in human COVID-19 patients by August.

He also said that the company will be evaluating the use of remdesivir earlier in the disease, combined with other therapies, and in different patient groups.

Matt Fellows

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