Gilead is scaling up remdesivir. What does this tell us?

While there is not a single randomized clinical trial that proves that the drug does anything, there is a steady undercurrent of anecdotal “evidence,” incomplete data from clinical trials, and “feel good” news stories. When coupled with the drug’s potent inhibition of viral replication in lung cells and success in treating and preventing disease in monkey models, it is not unreasonable to conclude that remdesivir is the real deal.

But possibly the biggest hint at this time (1) is Gilead’s enormous effort to scale up the synthesis of the drug despite the fact that it is a pain in the ass to make, something I wrote about recently. Yet an article in Chemical and Engineering News may provide the best evidence to date that Gilead expects the drug to work; the company is allegedly putting together a plan to make a whole lot of it. Gilead (wisely) didn’t say much about their plan or lack thereof, but there is one quote to pay attention to:

“We continue to work on optimizing the chemical synthesis processes”