The last time we wrote about potential COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer/miracle drugmaker Gilead Sciences ($NASDAQ:GILD) they were still working on clinical trials of remdesivir. But today brought news that more advanced testing would begin in August, which ironically dropped the stock a little bit, but don't let the headlines fool you, this is good progress to a company on the rise.

An inhaled version of this "savior" drug remdesivir could be used to treat the Coronavirus, but has to go through phases of more trials (is it safe to use on a healthy person, then a sick person, then an infected person, does it help, etc). This doesn't even get into finalizing the drug for mass usage, making and shipping it, who gets it, how much it costs, and many other important questions. 

CEO of Gilead Daniel O'Day put out an open letter explaining what's going on, saying this "could have significant implications in helping to stem the tide of the pandemic...remdesivir has the potential to be of meaningful benefit to patients with COVID-19 and offers important hope. We will continue to collaborate globally to ensure sufficient worldwide supply." 

And aside from today's very minor drop in the stock price, overall this year has been a big one for Gilead. The company continues to slowly grow, and 2020 has been one good announcement after another. Whether it's smart business acumen or actual hope fueling Gilead remains to be seen, but considering job postings are up 58% this year, it's safe to say the future is bright as long as these trials continue onwards.

The most remarkable thing about Gilead Sciences is just how big the company got on social media once its name was attached to a Coronavirus treatment. Twitter followers went up by 64% this year alone, and its Facebook likes more than doubled. These are not hardcore science fans, these are people who read the news and went to give the company a Like.

The fever pitch was early May, when the 'Talking About' count hit its highest point ever for Gilead. It's completely come back to reality in the weeks following, but once August comes and has any good news regarding remdesivir, we can expect another bounce in these numbers.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.