Global death toll from COVID-19 tops 1.1 million

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Study finds remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine have ‘little’ impact on mortality in COVID-19 patients

A clinical trial conducted by the World Health Organization found that Gilead Sciences Inc.’s remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, AbbVie’s undefined lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon did not impact mortality among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The study was first reported by the Financial Times on Thursday. In a preprint, which is medical research that has not been peer-reviewed, researchers said that the four antiviral drugs had “little or no effect” on overall mortality, ventilation, and length of hospital stay among the 11,330 patients participating in the study. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment, based on a clinical study conducted in the U.S. that found the drug could reduce recovery times. It had also granted an emergency use authorization to hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment although that EUA was rescinded this summer. In a statement shared after the FT story published, Gilead questioned the validity of the trial data, saying it was “concerned that the data from this open-label global trial have not undergone the rigorous review required to allow for constructive scientific discussion, particularly given the limitations of the trial design.” However, Raymond James analyst say that Gilead’s response is off-base. “We would hope that GILD reconsiders its knee-jerk dismissal of the SOLIDARITY study and reassesses the clinical value of remdesivir in the context of these new data,” they told investors on Thursday. So far this year, Gilead’s stock is down 3.1%, shares of AbbVie have tumbled 3.7%, and the S&P 500 undefined is up 7.8%.

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