A biotechnology company said Monday that Gilead Sciences will begin human trials for an inhaled version of its antiviral drug remdesivir in August.
Remdesivir, which has received emergency use authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of patients hospitalized with Covid-19, is administered intravenously. In April, the company told investors that it was striving to develop easier-to-use versions of the drug, including the inhalation version. According to the company, the drug cannot be administered in the form of tablets, since its chemical composition affects the liver.
Gilead said he would administer the drug through a nebulizer, a delivery device that could turn liquid drugs into fog.
The inhalation version “could potentially facilitate administration outside the hospital, in the earlier stages of the disease,” Gilead Chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day said in an open letterMr. Monday “This can have significant consequences in helping to stop the pandemic wave.”
Gilead will screen healthy volunteers at an early stage in trials and hopes to start studies on patients with Covid-19 in August.
The company said it will also conduct trials using intravenous infusions on an outpatient basis, such as infusion centers and nursing homes. He is also exploring whether he can improve patient outcomes by combining remdesivir with other treatments.
“Our best hope of defeating Covid-19 is the set of tools we have at our disposal: complementary therapy, effective vaccines and extensive testing,” O’Day said. “Having already seen that science can give answers, we can hope for further progress. Gilead will do its best to help advance this progress by exploring the full potential of remdesivir. ”
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, there are no drugs approved by the FDA to treat Covid-19, which has infected nearly 9 million people worldwide and killed at least 468,589 people.
Remdesivir was provided by the FDA as part of the EUA in May. Hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug advertised by President Donald Trump, also received the EUA for coronavirus, but the appointment was canceled after the FDA found that it was unlikely to be effective.
In April, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases published the results of its study, demonstrating modest benefits for patients taking remdesivir. It was shown that patients with Covid-19 who took the drug usually recovered after 11 days, four days faster than those who did not take the drug.
The company said it could produce “several million” rounds of its antiviral drug next year to help patients fight coronavirus.