University of Chicago Medicine researchers said they saw “rapid recoveries” in 125 patients with coronavirus taking Gilead Sciences Inc.’s experimental drug remdesivir as part of a clinical trial, yet it is to early to celebrate.
Clinical trials consume time and resources before authorities can green light therapies.
Despite the positive outcomes, the University of Chicago remdesivir trial cannot withstand scientific scrutiny. So far, its effectiveness in treating COVID-19 patients is only anecdotal.
The University of Chicago Medicine warned that using the results to draw conclusions is “premature and scientifically unsound.”
This anecdotal evidence isn’t isolated, though, which is adding to the growing hype around the drug.
To determine the effectiveness of a drug, a proper clinical trial requires a control group. In the University of Chicago Medicine case, there was no placebo group involved in the trial.
Scientifically, it cannot be conclusively determined that remdesivir is responsible for the positive outcomes–even though it might very well be.
It’s worth mentioning that the results from the University of Chicago are only a snapshot, as there are other related trials happening elsewhere. A clearer picture will only emerge after the results from other clinical trials are in.