This story was originally published here.
While Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) appears to have a possible treatment for COVID-19 in remdesivir, which is good news for owners of GILD stock, we are still miles away from knowing who the winners will be in the 2020 version of the Gold Rush.
One of the things I’ve stressed in these difficult times is that investors have options. You don’t have to bet on the latest-and-greatest vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus.
With or without remdesivir, Gilead remains a smart play now and in the future.
Why GILD Stock Is a Smart Play Now
Gilead originally developed remdesivir for the treatment of the Ebola virus and other contagious diseases. It was never approved for human use. However, what it learned from the previous development process made the company think it might work against COVID-19.
In Europe, the World Health Organization is running clinical tests on patients in both Spain and Norway. While the potential is real, there are no guarantees that remdesivir will work effectively on large quantities of people.
Over in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus, Chinese scientists have been testing the drug treatment on COVID-19 patients with both mild-to-moderate and severe symptoms. They’re expected to have initial data on the trial in April.
In the U.S., the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is funding a controlled trial being conducted in Omaha at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Anthony Fauci, the NIAID’s director, appeared on several national news programs on March 29, suggesting that the clinical trial is continuing, but little beyond that information.
On the same weekend, Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day released an open letter to Americans, discussing remdesivir.
“Remdesivir is still an investigational medicine. We are planning for the outcome we all hope for — that it will prove to be a safe, effective treatment — and in the meantime we are taking the ethical, responsible approach to determining whether that is the case,” O’Day stated. Compare Brokers
My InvestorPlace colleague, Dana Blankenhorn, recently suggested the company believes it will have a solid understanding of remdesivir’s safety and efficacy by the end of April.
Since Gilead has the financial muscle to get the drug treatment out to patients in a relatively quick manner, if you’re looking for a short-term play, GILD stock makes as much sense as many of the other potential seekers of gold.
Editor's Note: To see why GILD could be a good longer-term play too, click here.
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