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Gilead gets a boost as its Ebola drug gets repurposed to treat the coronavirus

It is working with Chinese officials to set up a study of the drug’s effectiveness against the virus

Gilead sign at their headquarters in Silicon Valley
Gilead told Reuters the drug was shown to be active in animals with SARS and MERS, each closely related to the modern coronavirus

Gilead Sciences Inc (NASDAQ:GILD) shares jumped before the bell Monday after the drug manufacturer provided its experimental Ebola therapy for use in patients with coronavirus, according to a Reuters report late Friday. 

The company is working with Chinese officials to set up a study of the drug’s effectiveness against the virus, which has killed more than 200 people in the country and which the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency on Thursday. 

California-based Gilead is also testing its antiviral drug, remdesivir, against the virus. The scale of the threat continues to rise, as more than 10,000 people have been infected by the coronavirus around the world, Reuters reported.

Shares increased 4.3% to $65.91.

READ: Co-Diagnostics sees successful initial verification of test to diagnose coronavirus; shares jump

The company is working with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Last week, Gilead told Reuters that the drug was shown to be active in animals with Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), each closely related to the modern coronavirus.

Elsewhere, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) began work on a vaccine on Wednesday, and Co-Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:CODX) announced on Friday the successful initial verification of its screening test designed to identify the presence of the coronavirus.

Contact Andrew Kessel at andrew.kessel@proactiveinvestors.com 

Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kessel

Quick facts: Gilead Sciences, Inc.

Price: 63.4 USD

NASDAQ:GILD
Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $79.49 billion
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