A lab technician inspects filled vials of investigational coronavirus disease (COVID-19) treatment drug remdesivir at a Gilead…
FILE - A lab technician inspects filled vials of the drug remdesivir at a Gilead Sciences facility in La Verne, California, March 11, 2020.

Antiviral drug remdesivir showed promising results for patients with moderate COVID-19 cases in a late phase trial, the developers of the drug said Monday.

Gilead Science, Inc. announced Monday that its SIMPLE trial found that patients in a 5-day remsdesivir treatment group were 65 percent more likely to see improvement at Day 11 than those who received standard care alone.

"Today's results showed that when treating moderate disease, a 5-day course of remdesivir led to greater clinical improvement than standard of care, adding further evidence of remdesivir's benefit to previously released study results," said Dr. Merdad Parsey, Gilead's Chief Medical Officer.

A different study from the National Institutes of Health found that the drug reduced hospitalization stays by 31%, versus those who received a placebo.

Japan is the only country that has formally approved remdesivir for use as a treatment for moderate cases of COVID-19. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted remdesivir Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment of hospitalized patients with severe COVID-19. The FDA is closely observing these studies, as the drug has yet to receive formal approval for use. 

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