Gilead Sciences announced Monday it will start human clinical trials for an inhaled version of remdesivir as a potential coronavirus treatment. It said it will start screening healthy volunteers for phase one trials this week and hopes to begin studies on COVID-19 patients in August.
Right now, the antiviral drug is given to coronavirus patients intravenously in hospitals. The FDA granted an emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19 in May. Gilead said it will also "conduct trials using intravenous infusions in outpatient settings such as infusion centers and nursing homes."
Gilead Chairman and CEO Daniel O’Day said an inhaled version, which would be given through a nebulizer, could make it easier to administer outside of a hospital and at earlier stages of disease. He said, "That could have significant implications in helping to stem the tide of the pandemic."
Gilead's stock fell after the company made the announcement. Shares were down by more than 2% on Monday afternoon.
Contains footage from CNN.