FOSTER CITY, Calif.– Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) today announced positive results from a Phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a three-day course of Veklury® (remdesivir) for intravenous (IV) use for the treatment of COVID-19 in non-hospitalized patients at high risk for disease progression. This late-breaking data will be presented at the IDWeek 2021 virtual conference.
In an analysis of 562 participants randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to receive Veklury or placebo, Veklury demonstrated a statistically significant 87% reduction in risk for the composite primary endpoint of COVID-19 related hospitalization or all-cause death by Day 28 (0.7% [2/279]) compared with placebo (5.3% [15/283]) p=0.008. Results also showed an 81% reduction in risk for the composite secondary endpoint of medical visits due to COVID-19 or all-cause death by Day 28 for participants treated with Veklury (1.6% [4/246]) compared with placebo (8.3% [21/252]) p=0.002. In the study, no deaths were observed in either arm by Day 28.
Enrollment for this trial was stopped prior to fulfilling enrollment targets in April 2021, reflecting the changing epidemiology and adoption of additional treatment options at the time; however, the study continued to collect data on enrolled participants and both investigators and participants remained blinded to their assignment of Veklury or placebo. These results complement positive results from ACTT-1 and other studies in hospitalized patients in which Veklury helped patients recover significantly faster and reduced the likelihood of disease progression.
“Antiviral medications provide maximal benefit when used early in the disease course. Last summer, data from clinical trials demonstrated the benefit of remdesivir in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, even when not yet requiring oxygen. These latest data show remdesivir’s potential to help high-risk patients recover before they get sicker and stay out of the hospital altogether,” said Robert L. Gottlieb, MD, PhD, Cardiologist and Principal Investigator at Baylor University Medical Center and Baylor Scott & White Research Institute. “We are seeing very high numbers of hospitalized patients as new COVID-19 infections surge, placing increased demands on already over-burdened healthcare systems. Remdesivir, also known as Veklury, is an effective antiviral for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and an essential tool to help reduce disease progression.”
The use of Veklury for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with three days of dosing is investigational, and the safety and efficacy for this use and dosing duration have not been established or approved by any regulatory agency globally. In the United States, Veklury is indicated for adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kg) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Veklury is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to Veklury or any of its components; please see below for additional Important Safety Information for Veklury.
The safety profile was similar between Veklury and placebo in this trial, with the most common treatment emergent adverse events (≥5%) in patients taking Veklury being nausea and headache. Of the 279 participants who received Veklury, no new safety signals were identified. One death was observed in the study at Day 59 (participant on placebo); no deaths occurred in either arm of the study by the Day 28 primary endpoint. Gilead is in the process of sharing the data with regulatory agencies.
“As the pandemic continues to evolve and new viral variants emerge, Veklury is playing a critical role as the antiviral standard of care for hospitalized patients, helping prevent disease progression and speed patients’ recovery,” said Merdad Parsey, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Gilead Sciences. “As leaders in antiviral drug development, we welcome these findings and continue to invest in research of Veklury and novel oral antivirals to address the unmet need for effective and convenient therapies that can be administered at home.”
Gilead continues to study the efficacy and safety of Veklury in hospitalized patient populations with ongoing unmet needs, such as patients with renal impairment, children and pregnant women, as well as through the support of a number of externally sponsored trials. Gilead is also developing novel oral treatment options for non-hospitalized patients with COVID-19 and hopes to file investigational new drug applications (IND) with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by early next year.