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Photo: Ulrich Perrey/POOL/AFP

Remdesivir has shown only modest results against the coronavirus so far, but is expected to rake in billions for Gilead over the next two years, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Remdesivir is currently one of our only treatments for the virus, but even so, there are questions about whether its price tag is justified.

Driving the news: The government is no longer in charge of distributing the drug as of yesterday, and Gilead is seeking full approval for the drug by the Food and Drug Administration, which would likely expand its use.

  • Remdesivir costs $3,120 per course, and is set to bring in more than $9 billion for Gilead in 2020 and 2021, according to an estimate by a Credit Suisse investment analyst.

Yes, but: The most conclusive evidence so far found that the drug reduces hospital stays from 15 to 11 days, but does not significantly decrease a patients' likelihood of dying.

  • "The drug clearly has some kind of benefit, but it's really not clear how great of a benefit it is," Walid Gellad, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Department of Medicine, told the Post. "The pricing is based on this drug that has a huge impact, and it's turning out that it does not have a huge impact."

The other side: "The bottom line is that clinical data demonstrate that patients taking Veklury (remdesivir) recover four days faster than those taking placebo, and Veklury costs less than a one-day hospital stay, resulting in immediate savings to the health care system," Gilead spokesman Chris Ridley told the Post.

Go deeper

14 hours ago - World

Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of COVID-19 cases

Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Photo: THIERRY ROGE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Belgium is enforcing a strict lockdown starting Sunday amid rising coronavirus infections, hospital admissions and a surge of deaths, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced on Friday.

Why it matters: De Croo said the government saw no choice but to lock down "to ensure that our health care system does not collapse." Scientists and health officials said deaths have doubled every six days, per the Guardian.

9 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID-19 hotspots have materialized across "the entire country"

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Graeme Jennings/AFP via Getty Images

The United States is "seeing hotspots literally throughout the entire country," with a countrywide average of 70,000 COVID-19 cases per day, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told the Silicon Valley Leadership Group's annual forum Friday.

Driving the news: The U.S. hit another grim milestone on Friday, with the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassing 9 million as new infections surge across the country, per data from Johns Hopkins University.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

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