Gilead's moving quickly with FDA for approval of coronavirus drug remdesivir: CEO
Gilead Sciences, the maker of the experimental coronavirus drug remdesivir, is giving investors more details. The company said it plans to expand manufacturing of the drug. It spent $50 million on remdesivir research and develeopment in the first quarter, and it's focused on making the drug accessible and affordable. Gilead Sciences CEO Daniel O'Day joins "Squawk Box" and CNBC's Meg Tirrell to discuss.
Gilead Sciences is working to make experimental antiviral drug remdesivir accessible and affordable to coronavirus patients, but the company will eventually need to transition to a more “sustainable model,” CEO Daniel O’Day said Friday.
“We understand our responsibility both to patients and also to shareholders and we’ll be balancing that,” he said during an interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Gilead has said it is prepared to donate 1.5 million doses of its drug to patients hospitalized with Covid-19. However, O’Day said the research and manufacturing of the drug require investment.
Gilead spent $50 million on the research and development of remdesivir during the first quarter, the company disclosed in its earnings report Thursday. The company said it will spend as much as $1 billion for the year.
“There is no playbook for this situation that we’re in today,” he said. “This is the time for us all as an industry, especially Gilead, to do the right thing.”
Gilead shares, which have a market value just under $100 billion, are trading down more than 5% Friday. The stock is up nearly 22% so far this year.
On Wednesday, Gilead released preliminary results from its clinical trial on remdesivir, showing at least 50% of the Covid-19 patients treated with a five-day dosage of the drug improved. The clinical trial involved 397 patients with severe cases of Covid-19. The severe study is “single-arm,” meaning it did not evaluate the drug against a control group of patients who didn’t receive the drug.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases also released results from its own study Wednesday. It showed Covid-19 patients who took remdesivir usually recovered after 11 days, four days faster than those who didn’t take the drug.
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