Gilead Sciences on Wednesday announced that it has initiated two Phase III trials in the UK to evaluate the antiviral activity of its experimental drug remdesivir in patients with moderate-to-severe COVID-19. "These clinical trials will help generate important data on the safety and efficacy of the medication in the coming weeks," commented Hilary Hutton-Squire, general manager of Gilead's operations in the UK and Ireland.
The randomised studies, which have been given urgent public health research status by the UK's Chief Medical Office, will initially involve 15 NHS centres across England and Scotland. Andrew Ustianowski, who will oversee the trials, said "I think this drug is promising in the laboratory, and we're hopeful it will be as promising in humans…[although] we do need studies such as this to work out how well it works and how best to use it."
The experimental broad-spectrum antiviral, initially developed for use against Ebola, is being evaluated as a potential treatment for patients with COVID-19 in other trials  as well, including in the US  and China .