The U.S. government’s top infectious-disease expert said that early results of a closely watched clinical trial offered “quite good news” regarding a potential Covid-19 therapy made by the biotechnology company Gilead Sciences Inc.

Anthony Fauci, the head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is conducting the study, said at a White House meeting with President Donald Trump and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards that the trial showed a significant positive effect in treating the virus.

Early Wednesday morning, Gilead issued a news release saying it had become aware of results from the NIAID trial showing its experimental drug remdesivir helped patients recover more quickly than standard care, suggesting it could become the first effective treatment for an illness that has turned modern life inside-out.

NIAID’s trial enrolled more than 1,000 patients internationally and compared remdesivir treatment alongside supportive care with a placebo. Patients who got the drug recovered in an average of 11 days, while those who get a placebo recovered in 15 days, Fauci said.

The results were “highly significant if you look at the time to recovery,” Fauci said. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration indicated it is in talks with Gilead to make the medicine available quickly.

Finding a treatment for Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, could move the world closer to easing lockdown measures put in place to help slow its spread. News of the positive results helped send the U.S. stock market soaring Wednesday despite data showing a deep contraction in the economy in the first quarter of the year.

Gilead shares jumped as much as 8.1% Wednesday after the company’s statement.

The broader stock market and Gilead itself have been churned in recent weeks by a series of early looks and leaks of trial data on the drug, called remdesivir. Last week, the market swooned after apparently discouraging results from a Chinese trial that was halted early after researchers struggled to enroll patients were accidentally posted on a World Health Organization web page.

Data confirming those more downbeat results were published in the U.K. medical journal The Lancet on Wednesday. Fauci said at the White House Wednesday that that trial was “not an adequate study.”

Originally developed to treat other novel viruses, remdesivir has placed Gilead at the head of the race to develop a treatment for Covid-19. The drug, which has also been tested on Ebola, isn’t approved for use anywhere in the world.

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