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Drugmaker Says COVID-19 Treatment Headed To ‘Most Urgent‘ Patients

Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O'Day said on Sunday that remdesivir, a drug granted emergency authorization to treat COVID-19, is headed to the “most urgent” patients “in the early part of this next week.”

In an interview on CBS News’ the drugmaker executive said it’s still being determine which cities are the “most vulnerable” and “where the patients are that need this medicine.”

The drug has shown to be effective in reducing the course of the potentially deadly virus.

“We are now firmly focused on getting this medicine to the most urgent patients around the country here in the United States,” he said. “And we intend to get that to patients in the early part of this next week.”

O’Day said Gilead (GILD) has “donated the entirety of our supply, which is around 1.5 million vials” to the effort.

“That turns into around 100,000 to 200,000 treatment courses depending on whether it's a five-day or a 10-day,” he said. “And this donation will be made available to patients here in America and the United States and across the world as other regulatory decisions are taken for those countries.”

O’Day added that in the future, the drug may become one that will be administered outside the hospital setting.

“This medicine is really right now for the most severe patients in the hospital, and it's given by I.V.,” he said. “But our scientists have been working since earlier this year to say ‘are there other ways that we could deliver this medicine, potentially …to earlier patients.’ 

“And in order to do that, we're looking at formulations such as subcutaneous formulations that may be given outside the hospital setting and possibly an inhaled version,” he said.

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