Dan O’Day, CEO of Gilead Sciences, said on Monday that the company had donated all of its supply of remdesivir to the United States government for distribution to hospitals across the country.
The CEO of Gilead Sciences, the company that makes promising drug remdesivir, says it will be available to treat COVID-19 patients this week after receiving FDA approval.
The drug has shown promising results in a study of more than 1,000 people worldwide and has been touted as one of the first steps in reopening the economy.
Scientists have found that patients who received it recovered 31% faster than those who had not, and that the mortality rate among recipients was about 3% lower; it was 8% among drug recipients and 11.6% among placebo patients.
In an interview with Face The Nation on CBS on Sunday, Gilead CEO Dan O’Day said the company had donated all of its drug supplies to the government for deployment to local hospitals. United States and that he would also send them abroad.
“We plan to get this information to patients early next week, starting to work with the government, which will determine which cities are most vulnerable and where the patients who need this medicine are,” said said O’Day.
The company’s stocks increased last week after the study’s results were announced by Dr. Tony Fauci, the White House’s largest coronavirus expert.
O’Day said the company has now given 1.5 million bottles to the government.
Depending on the length of a patient’s treatment, the supply should cover between 100,000 and 200,000 people, said O’Day.
The drug, which is commonly used in Ebola cases, was effective in a study involving more than 1,000 people. Those who got it recovered 31% faster than those who got a placebo
Gilead’s share price has increased since its potential success in treating the virus was first reported at the start of the year
“We did it because we recognize and acknowledge human suffering, human need here and we want to make sure that nothing stands in the way of this happening to patients,” he said.
It is now up to the government to determine where to send the doses and how much each area needs.
We don’t know when more will be ready. O’Day said the company increased production in January, but did not explain what prompted them to boost manufacturing.
There were virtually no known cases of COVID-19 in the United States in January.
President Trump says China tried to cover up how deadly he was last year and that he may have even been created in a laboratory and escaped.
While the United States should have known, far less to answer it to prepare is now a source of political discord.
“We are now firmly focusing on the distribution of this medication to the most urgent patients in the country, in the United States.
Dr. Fauci said last week that while the drug is not fully tested and is not a cure, it has shown for the first time that the virus can be “stopped” by treatment.
Doctors who participated in the study now want to explore how to use it with other drugs to give patients tailored treatments.
It comes amid President Trump’s more promising remarks that a vaccine could be ready by the end of the year.
Coronavirus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House said last week that the drug was “proof” that the virus could be stopped by medicine
Trump was speaking on Sunday in a virtual town hall with Fox News when he gave the prediction.
He said the United States was working with the United Kingdom and Australia to rapidly develop a vaccine and that he did not “care” about the country that made it first, as long as it worked.
“We think we will have a vaccine by the end of this year. And we are pushing very hard. We are building supply lines now and we don’t even have the final vaccine, “said Trump.
He highlighted Johnson & Johnson as a company that was making a dent. “Many companies, I think, are close,” he told Fox News hosts in a virtual town hall and said the United States is working with the United Kingdom and Australia to develop it.
Admitting that it didn’t sound like his usual America First rhetoric, Trump replied, “I don’t care,” when asked how he would feel if another country first developed an effective vaccine.
“I really want to get a vaccine that works,” said the president.
Last week, Dr. Fauci said that “hundreds of millions” of vaccine doses could be ready as early as January of next year.
Among the companies developing vaccines, Moderna Inc., its CEO dazzled the president at a roundtable with other pharmaceutical leaders in March, saying they could have a vaccine ready to enter phase two of a test in “a few months”.
Johnson & Johnson is also developing a vaccine.