Coronavirus: Cedars-Sinai clinical trial of experimental COVID-19 drug shows encouraging results

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The small trial of an experimental antiviral drug positioned as a potential treatment for COVID-19 has shown positive results, according to Cedars-Sinai officials.

An analysis co-authored by Dr. Jonathan Grein, the hospital's director of epidemiology, show an improvement in 68% of patients hospitalized with severe complications of COVID-19 who were treated with the experimental antiviral drug remdesivir.

Cedars-Sinai is among dozens of hospitals and clinics around the world participating in the trial, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

RELATED: Coronavirus: UC Irvine researchers first in Southern California to test new treatment for COVID-19

The experimental therapy was given to patients through a "compassionate use'' program that allows providers access to treatments not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration when a patient has a life-threatening condition and no other options are available.

The analysis, published online by The New England Journal of Medicine, evaluated data from 53 patients in the United States, Europe, Canada and Japan who received at least one dose of remdesivir by March 7. The effort was led by Gilead Sciences, the pharmaceutical company that makes the experimental drug.

One of Cedars-Sinai's top officials noted definitive conclusions cannot be drawn from the results, but they are hopeful.

RELATED: UC Riverside researchers help to identify crucial protein linked to potential coronavirus vaccine

Currently, there is no proven treatment for COVID-19.

City News Service contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2020 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.