Gilead drug to combat coronavirus being tested in China

China is testing Gilead Science's unapproved drug, remdesivir, as a way to treat coronavirus patients, Bloomberg reported. 

Remdesivir is an antiviral drug designed to treat infectious diseases such as Ebola and SARS. It has not been approved by any drug regulator in the world, but China is beginning clinical trials in humans to determine if it can treat the coronavirus that has killed 427 people and infected more than 20,000. 

It will be tested by a medical team from the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, and the trial will take place in central Wuhan, where the outbreak started, Bloomberg reported. 

Remdesivir will be given to as many as 270 patients with mild to moderate pneumonia caused by the coronavirus. 

The first U.S. patient infected with the virus saw his pneumonia improve after he was given remdesivir, Bloomberg reported, but it may have been unrelated to the drug. 

Remdesivir is the best hope for treating the virus at the time, as it could take months for any vaccine to be available for human trials, according to Bloomberg

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