Does Gilead Have a Treatment for the Coronavirus?

The stock was trading higher on Monday due to reports that it may have a coronavirus treatment. 

Over the past couple of weeks, the market has taken a hit due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus. What started out as a virus in the Chinese city of Wuhan has become a major global concern.

To date, the disease has infected more than 17,000 people globally and spread to more than 25 countries. Researchers have been trying to develop a vaccine to combat the illness, but have been unsuccessful so far. 

But now the biotech stock Gilead Sciences is rising due to reports that one of the company’s experimental drugs could treat the coronavirus. 

Details on the drug

According to the Wall Street Journal, Gilead has given medical professionals access to its experimental antiviral drug remdesivir. Doctors are using the drug as an emergency treatment for a select number of patients infected with the coronavirus.

The company has also reportedly entered into an agreement with Chinese authorities to conduct clinical trials of the drug. However, remdesivir is not approved for use in humans in the U.S. or abroad. Unapproved drugs can be tested in emergency situations where there are no good alternative treatments available.  

A man in Washington state came down with the virus after traveling to Wuhan when the outbreak first began. After returning to the U.S., he tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The man was hospitalized for the virus and on the seventh day of his hospitalization, he was given remdesivir. The next day, his condition improved and while he’s still in the hospital, the majority of his symptoms have resolved. 

Final thoughts

Remdesivir is not the only drug being tested to treat the coronavirus, but it does seem to be the front runner so far. And if the drug proves to be effective, it could be made more widely available to treat the disease. However, it will take time for the drug to be made available on a commercial basis. 

After the news about remdesivir came out, Gilead’s shares were up nearly 5% on Monday morning. And while fears about the coronavirus still remain, the market largely rebounded from Friday’s drop as well.