(CNN)A congressman on Friday called for the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the leak of a video showing physicians at the University of Chicago speaking enthusiastically about an experimental drug to treat Covid-19.
Congressman calls for SEC investigation into leak about possible coronavirus drug
Texas Democrat Rep. Lloyd Doggett, chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, said the leak was "so significant" at a time when the world is "so desperate to find a cure."
University of Chicago physicians are helping test remdesivir, an antiviral drug made by Gilead Sciences in patients with Covid-19.
Dr. Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago, is leading the clinical trial funded by Gilead.
"The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We've only had two patients perish," Mullane is quoted as saying in the video.
The video was leaked to STAT News, a health news website, which published it Thursday afternoon. The story was picked up widely by other news outlets, including CNN, and Gilead stock soared 12%.
Doggett, an attorney, noted that "providing information that's designed to impact the stock market is not something that is permitted under federal securities law."
He said it's not clear where the leak came from. "That's why we need a thorough SEC investigation," he said.
A Gilead spokesman Chris Ridley said his company was not involved in the leak.
"Gilead had nothing to do with the information sourced by STAT from an internal recording out of the University of Chicago hospital," Ridley wrote to CNN in an email.
A spokesman for the SEC declined to comment. A spokeswoman from the University of Chicago did not respond to a request from CNN for comment.
The University of Chicago is conducting two remdesivir trials being paid for by Gilead: one in patients with severe symptoms and the other in patients with moderate symptoms.
"Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn't have to be 10 days," Mullane was quoted in the STAT article as saying in the video.
The Gilead trial for patients who are severely ill does not include what's known as a control group, so it could be difficult to say whether the drug is truly helping patients recover better. With a control arm, some patients do not receive the drug being te