Shares of Gilead Sciences Inc.
were down 5.3% in trading on Thursday after a Stat News report said a draft of the clinical trial results for remdesivir, an experimental drug being tested as a treatment for COVID-19, showed that the drug did not speed up improvement in patients in China or prevent them from dying. The summary was published on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) website and then taken down, Stat said. A WHO spokesperson confirmed the summary, telling the media outlet that the manuscript is undergoing peer review and was published by accident. Earlier this month Chinese authorities had halted two trials for remdesivir, saying that there weren’t enough patients to fully enroll the studies. A Gilead spokesperson told Stat “the post included inappropriate characterization of the study.” Remdesivir is one of many drugs being tested as a potential treatment for severely and moderately ill COVID-19 patients; it is widely considered to be one of the frontrunners in efforts to treat the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Gilead’s stock is up 18.8% year-to-date, while the S&P 500
is down 13.3%.