Clinical trials being conducted in Wuhan to test Gilead Sciences' remdesivir, a potential treatment for COVID-19, are going more slowly than hoped for as the drugmaker struggles to recruit qualified patients, as reported in Morningstar.
The trials, aimed at testing 761 patients infected with the new coronavirus strain, including 308 patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms and 452 with severe conditions, have succeeded in recruiting fewer than 200 people after 10 days.
Zhang Xinmin, an official from China's Ministry of Science and Technology, said a total of 168 patients with severe symptoms, and 17 with mild-to-moderate symptoms, were recruited at 11 medical institutes across Wuhan.
A Gilead spokeswoman said the two studies, for severe and more moderate cases, were initiated about a week apart and are being conducted by Chinese officials, not Gilead.
"Any questions about the status of those studies would be best addressed by the principal investigator," she said.
Zhao Jianping, who is heading a team advising on the treatment of coronavirus patients, indicated earlier this month that two-thirds of the severe patients in the trials would be given the drug while the other third would be given placebo plus standard treatment.
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