Antiviral Is Reportedly Effective in Treating Severe Cases of COVID-19

STAT reports leaked comments of University of Chicago researcher


The antiviral compound remdesivir has been one of the more hopeful candidates for treating patients with COVID-19. The excellent biomedical news site STAT is reporting that researchers participating in a trial in which patients with severe symptoms of COVID-19 are being treated with the compound have seen very hopeful results.

Researchers at the University of Chicago Medicine recruited 125 people with COVID-19, of which 113 had severe symptoms, into Phase 3 clinical trials of the antiviral. All the patients have been treated with daily infusions of remdesivir.

"The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We've only had two patients perish," said Kathleen Mullane, on a video seen by STAT reporters. Mullane is the University of Chicago infectious disease specialist who is overseeing the remdesivir studies for the hospital.

It is important to note that this is not a randomized controlled trial; there is no cohort receiving a placebo with which to compare the treated patients. Nevertheless, as STAT reports:

Mullane, while encouraged by the University of Chicago data, made clear her own hesitancy about drawing too many conclusions.

"It's always hard," she said, because the severe trial doesn't include a placebo group for comparison. "But certainly when we start [the] drug, we see fever curves falling," she said. "Fever is now not a requirement for people to go on trial, we do see when patients do come in with high fevers, they do [reduce] quite quickly. We have seen people come off ventilators a day after starting therapy. So, in that realm, overall our patients have done very well."

She added: "Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn't have to be 10 days. We have very few that went out to 10 days, maybe three," she said.

Gilead had said to expect results for its trial involving severe cases in April. Mullane said during her presentation that data for the first 400 patients in the study would be "locked" by Gilead Thursday, meaning that results could come any day.

It's way too premature to pop champagne corks just yet, but let's hope these findings are quickly confirmed.


NEXT: No, Dr. Oz Didn't Say Only 2–3% of Children Would Die of Coronavirus If Schools Reopened

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  1. Now now Ron. We all know that you want coronavirus to kill millions so that Trump will fail and then you’ll be invited to those Manhattan cocktail parties. You’re supposed to say that the treatment is totally not going to work. How did you get so far off script?

    1. But if he plays it up now and lowers the boom later, that’s even better. Nothing more favored than a double cross back to your side. I mean, look at Duranty, how much Joe McCarthy favored him after he came clean and told the truth about Stalin, and how the NYT disavowed him.

    2. I dont know how you did it… but you came more pathetic spending time as your sock.

      1. That was one garbled sentence.

        1. So is your pathetic handle bitch1789.

    3. I hope your sorry ass didn’t think this was funny. Being predictable isn’t funny, neither is being pathetic and bitter.

      1. In this thread, Ron gets shut the fuck up.

      2. That was bitter.

  2. Most people want to hear good news — grounded in science and reality — and don’t wan’t to hear uninformed, misleading, self-serving bluster. Trump is failing without regard to statements from experts, informed professionals, and science. His approval rating his 43 today. Winning!

    1. You get internet in your trailer?

      1. Ssssh–he’s got an old etch-a-sketch frame mounted to an old chamber pot, he swirls the contents around with his finger ‘cos it’s a ‘touch screen’

      2. That’s two today that got me rolling. Thanks man. 🙂

        1. [jingles keys]

          1. Not funny. Good try. It’s sad though that you felt you needed to tell a bad joke in response to someone giving someone else a compliment about their joke. We’re not laughing with you, we’re laughing at you.

            1. I thought were were all just standing around, shaking our heads sadly. It’s pretty clear that he’s too far gone to even realize people are laughing.

    2. “Most people want to hear good news — grounded in science and reality — and don’t wan’t to hear uninformed, misleading, self-serving bluster.” Yet you keep posting. Go figure.

  3. The Chinese unleashed a plague upon the world, and now profit handsomely from mass producing the cure. Charming.

    1. Gilead Sciences is an American company.

      1. I know, but reading also helps. “Chinese drugmaker said it has started mass-producing an experimental drug from Gilead Sciences that has the potential to fight the novel coronavirus, as China accelerates its effort to find a treatment for the widening outbreak. Suzhou-based BrightGene Bio-Medical Technology said in a statement filed to the Shanghai Stock Exchange on Tuesday night that it has developed the technology to synthesize the active pharmaceutical ingredients of remdesivir, Gilead’s drug that is a leading candidate to treat the highly-infectious virus that’s killed more than 1,000 people. The drug isn’t licensed or approved anywhere in the world yet. Its stock surged 20% in Tuesday morning trading in Shanghai.”

        1. I read it. And you skipped re-printing this part: While BrightGene said that it intends to license the drug from Gilead All I’m seeing here is a Chinese company willing to take a gamble on the backs of American ingenuity. Seems status quo to me.

          1. So, still profiting. Where was I wrong? The Americans make it, the Chinese mass produce it. A Chinese company is profiting handsomely from mass producing a cure to a virus it created. That was my assertion. You responded by saying Gilead is an American Company. So what?

          2. More often without the license fee.

    2. “The Chinese” are individual people. The individuals producing the drug to treat the disease are not the same individuals who may have unleashed the plague.

      1. Not according to Chinese govt ideology you dumbass

        1. Thought we were libertarians who recognize the existence of individuality, and don’t see people as mere parts of their assigned collective.

      2. Among the individuals who will _profit_ from producing this are the same government officials that suppressed lab results and lied about the virus, enabling it to be unleashed upon the world.

  4. Bad hydroxychloroquine trials without controls = bad drug Bad remdesivir trials without control = good drug Difference? Orange Man. I see how this works.

    1. GG: Do you suffer from reading incomprehension? The Chinese trial was RCT; the remdesivir is not. Please try to keep up.

      1. Farkas, Ron. The big chart you cited in your last article was Farkas. Farkas had no control group. Anymore goal posts you want to shift? Fucking hack.

        1. GG: Read carefully: Randomized controlled trial – article on hydrochloorquine clearly pointed out that there were two cohorts – a treatment group versus a standard of care group. Read carefully and stop being a dishonest troll.

          1. //The study has major limitations, for example: ***Lack of blinding or placebo control*** Performance of the study by a contract research organization, rather than directly by the investigators. Early termination due to recruitment problems and the impression of benefit (which may have led to under-powering). Relatively long delay between symptom onset and treatment initiation (16-17 days).// Read the studies, and stop citing your half-assed summaries as back up.

            1. Why do you spend time at a website where you think the writers are hacks?

              1. Why do you lie even when lying doesn’t even give you any benefit?

                1. One of the things you Trump mean girls do is throw around the word, “lying”, a lot. In this case, I made no assertions, so I couldn’t have possibly been lying.

            2. Randomized clinical trials need not have a placebo control. In this RCT the control group used standard of care. Many of the studies I have worked on had no placebo control, because they needed to prove it was better than existing therapies (due to the stupid rules of the FDA).

          2. Tocilizumab. You heard it here first.

  5. This – some sort of effective treatment for the serious cases that precedes vaccine – is the one thing that will change the fatality rate in the second wave. Esp if it doesn’t lengthen the hospital stays either – if so it would mean we need more hospital beds but that also means a field hospital construction binge this summer and hard to see all the existing pigs at the trough just letting that much money be spent on something other than their snout.

    1. False hope kills people. Stop spreading false hope. Stop the death.

    2. Well, actually, there’s a hypothesis that the second wave of the 1918 influenza pandemic* was made more deadly by the fact that those who had been infected with a less-deadly strain remained in the trenches, while those who were very sick returned to cities for hospitalization. This spread the deadly strain, contrary to what usually happens (selection for a milder, more contagious strain). Furthermore, those who were infected in the first wave were spared from the deadly second wave. It almost seems like what we’re doing could set us up for a deadlier second wave–first, by minimizing the spread of a relatively harmless strain (everyone stay home) and spreading a relatively deadly one at hospitals. Then, by reducing infections in the first wave, we leave a larger pool of susceptible individuals. *Of course, this virus is not an influenza virus, so all this speculation about nth waves is just that–speculation.

      1. It is a respiratory virus that is mostly spread by droplets. Those do tend to spread more quickly when people spend more time indoors and coughing/sneezing become more common. That said – I think the southern US could keep higher infection rates through the summer as the weather heats up and the air conditioners go on and people stay inside more.

    3. Why would a treatment that shortens the length of hospital beds lead to construction of field hospitals?

  6. The Gilead drug? Get ready, folks, this one was talked about at the beginning–I’m pretty sure someone will find a Trump snippet praising the research. And, as we all know, if Trump praises a treatment, particularly one from GILEAD, it’s going to be denounced as useless. ‘Gilead’? Really? What the hell were they thinking?

    1. Side effects…makes women sterile and men regress to the 1950’s.

      1. What is wrong with you people? This is possibly good news. What the fuck does this have do with politics?

        1. Don’t ever stop being you.

        2. Your politics burst through the nature of your writing, Ron. Not more than two hours ago you posted an article citing a shitty study showing that hydroxychloroquine is ineffective (and, therefore “disappointing” news) and now post an equally shitty study showing that remesdivir is effective (and, therefore, provides “hopeful” results). Both studies were shit, yet the one drug you slam is the one endorsed, however obliquely, by Trump. The difference in your coverage is Trump.

        3. Did you forget the wording you used in your last article?

        4. From your earlier article… Sub headline: “The best available evidence does not support the use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19.” Conclusion; He does acknowledge that future studies in which COVID-19 patients are treated earlier in the course of their infections may yet find that hydroxychloroquine offers some therapeutic benefits. The benefits of hydroxychlorine have always been about prevention at early onset but you spent a full fucking article demeaning the drug based on a study from china based on late reaction application of the drug. You denigrated the drug based opposite the proposed usage. So go fuck yourself Ronnie. You know what you were doing. Why not support both drugs instead of denigrating one as they seem to treat different stages of the infection.

          1. Precisely. Ron knows exactly what he’s doing but constantly tries to pull a “neutral” Jeffy approach to the entire thing and plays stupid when people call him out on his shit.

            1. GG: There is no “neutrality” when it comes to whether a treatment works or not – evidence decides.

              1. True. But whether a drug works or not depends on the quality of the trials being conducted. If all you have are shit trials, then you need to admit that the trials are shit rather than TDS spinning your way through it, which is exactly what you’ve been doing for quite some time now.

          2. Yes. You both do apparently suffer from reading incomprehension and also possibly TDS – Trump Dupe Syndrome.

            1. I think “neutral” Ronnie just outed himself as chemjeff.

            2. Ron, don’t waste your time debating these bitter clingers.

            3. The only way to interact with this people, that has any value, is to ridicule them, for a sense of amusement. But even that is tinged with sad pity.

              1. You should stop talking about the sad pity you have for yourself.

        5. thanks for keeping us up to date, Ronald

        6. Ron – The name of this drug is all wrong. remdesivir sounds – well – very foreign and almost shitholey. It needs an American name. A great name that shows its yoodge potential. If you call it Donald’s Big Byootiful Cure instead of remdesivir, then I’m certain the commenters here will be extremely pleased at the results even if the results don’t really work out in the end.

        7. The Reason comments section has been invaded by Trump partisans for the last three years or so. Glad someone from the Reason staff is finally noticing.

          1. Are you glad that the staff member noticing is also an idiot.

            1. Good thing we have a vigilant squad of anti-Trump bias police watching the unreason writing staff. That’s the most important thing in a time of pandemic: making sure that nobody casts aspersions on Dear Leader Trump.

        8. Ron, in all seriousness, you’re on staff. Could you bring it up to the senior editors that the commentariat needs moderation. Honestly, I’ve been acting like an asshole and trolling, but it’s because I tried for a long, long time to have polite conversations and the same gang of Trump supporting “mean girls” you are experience would gang up and shut down every conversation with foul language, ad hominem attacks, and even stealing logins. The Reason commentariat used to be one of the best places on the Internet for libertarian discussion, but it needs some attention and moderation from the staff.

        9. What is wrong with you people? This is possibly good news. What the fuck does this have do with politics?

          It was a bit of black humor, Ron. See, we all know that if a tweet or a snippet of a speech can be found that has Trump endorsing this, you and your coterie of ‘educated’ idiots will start screeching like a band of rabid gibbons about how it doesn’t work and Trump’s trying to mislead people.

          Additionally, if it’s phrased in just the right way, intersectional feminism will happily denounce ‘Gilead’ because of the fantasy series they all worship.

      2. So we are all teenagers again and the chicks can’t get pregnant? Sign me up!

  7. Attention ronnie. We dont need just one treatment. They aren’t in competition. You dont have to denigrate one to support another.

    1. J: Evaluating is NOT the same as “denigrating.” Unless of course YOU have already made up your mind without evidence about what works. Then any evidence will necessarily be construed by the already convinced, e.g., you, as “denigrating.” Finally, why the fuck do you think I, or anyone else, would be against a cheap effective treatment for this or any other disease? Has politics eaten your brains?

      1. If you were honestly evaluating anything, you could write one article that says: “Trialsof drugs to treat COVID-19 produce inconclusive results, but further trials to follow.” But, instead, you write two separate articles, one in which trials about hyrdoxychloroquine produce “disappointing” results and one in which a trial about remdesivir produces “hopeful” results. Both trials were shit and completely inconclusive, a fact admitted by the people conducting the trials. You’re not being honest, and you know it.

        1. I am honestly evaluating – you are not.

          1. Bullfuckingshit, Ron. You’re a tranny fraud

          2. Mr. Bailey….I have no problem with your evaluating. We can disagree on interpretation and whatnot. When your articles veer into editorializing and sermonizing, you get roasted. Rightly so. You’re the science guy, right? Then get more ‘science-y’ please. WRT remdesivir, it is not clear to me that we have anything yet, aside from anecdotal evidence. Maybe a worthwhile inquiry here would be what institutional players are heavily invested in Gilead, and what will they be doing today with their Gilead holdings?

          3. I am honestly evaluating – you are not.

            No, you’re not.

            The hydroxychloroquine treatment HAS ALWAYS been done in conjunction with azithromycin and lately with zinc as well.

            The ‘study’ you cited DID NOT use that treatment regimen. This rendered it worthless for the purpose of testing a C19 treatment.

            If there was a shred of honesty left in you you’d admit this and strike that article.

            Finally, Jesse’s right–having more than a single treatment is a PLUS. Acting as if they’re in some kind of competition is just insane.

        2. GG: I honestly think that there is something really really wrong with your reading comprehension.

          1. You can’t write, let alone think, honestly. If you’re going to get defensive, then write better articles, with more actual science, rather throwing fits when people point out your bullshit.

            1. Again, why do you spend so much of your time at a website you don’t like?

              1. Why do you spend so much of your time responding to someone you want to stop posting?

                1. Amusement.

                  I used to come to the Reason commentariat for insightful, intelligent libertarian discussion, but the site became infected with Trump partisans who have ruined all that.

                  And the heads of Reason obviously don’t care much about the comments section or want to put anything into moderation. I learned that you can do anything and behave as awfully as you like here, and nobody will stop it.

                  I was shocked to see Ron actually hanging out in the comments section and engaging with readers. I’m sure he is shocked at what asswipes you are, and I hope he does something about it.

                  I’ll gladly, gladly give up trolling if Reason would clean up the commentariat.

  8. GG: Honestly, you’re right. I have nothing to defend from dishonest trolls like you.

    1. //It is important to note that this is not a randomized controlled trial; there is no cohort receiving a placebo with which to compare the treated patients.// “Hopeful” results from a trial barely in name only. Whatever helps you sleep, Ron.

      1. GG: Read again your dishonest 5:56 pm post about which trials are RCT and which are not.

        1. Ron, you know as well as I do, if you read the Farkas report, that all adequate controls were missing. An “RCT” without blinding, without placebos, to a limited group of individuals with “mild” cases and questionable baselines is hardly indicative of anything. I have no idea why you insist on defending the study as the “best” evidence of hydroxychloroquine not working as treatment, meanwhile you tout another uncontrolled study as proof that remsidivir is effective. Nobody is falling for it.

      2. GG: Your comments are the moral equivalent of Gresham’s Law: “Bad money drives out good.” Sad.

        1. What’s sad is that you get paid to write. Pretty pics poor reflection of your employer. Maybe the covid or “muh global warming” will save them further embarrassment

          1. You can always spend more of your time at zerohedge or the Drudge Report or watching Hannity.

        2. Mr. Bailey….does a variant of Gresham’s law apply: Bad journalism drives out good?

        3. Well Ron. No offense intended but you did take the bait.

  9. Well, let’s keep our fingers crossed on this one…probably too early for everyone to high-five and hugh each other, but worth keeping up with the medical news. Or should we wait to see what Trump says to decide how to react? /sarc

    1. Guys, does anyone else have my problem where the spaces between my paragraphs disappear?

      1. Testing Testing Testing

        1. What the heck

          1. What browser are you using? Do you by any chance have NoScript installed?

      2. Yea, I’ve been having the same issue. Let’s double space… ?

        1. And no, it gobbled them right up. Triple?

          1. Still gone. Anyway, let’s hope for the best and give any potential treatment a try. No point using bad science to pimp one at the expense of another.

            1. Testing. Testing. Testing.

              1. Hmm. The website has been acting odd all night. A couple hours ago it was refusing to load at all. I wonder if they’re rolling out some changes? If so, it would appear they didn’t do enough testing on their sandbox server, assuming they don’t do all their testing on their production server, of course.

                1. Ask Mr. Bailey if a RCT was conducted on the Reason website….

                  1. It would be really, really randomized.

    1. Wow, that article was just jam-packed with innuendo and speculation.

      Guess how a drug reflects on Dear Leader Trump is more important than medical science.

  10. I agree with Ron. This is not “it” at all.

    Gilead is participating in multiple ongoing clinical trials.

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