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It’s been a dark few weeks, but there’s been some light in the past few days, as the number of patients in New York ICUs dropped for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began, and there was some promising data on a potential treatment

As Andrew Dunn reports, more than two-thirds of hospitalized COVID-19 patients improved in condition after receiving remdesivir, an experimental antiviral treatment from Gilead Sciences. More tests are needed, as the study had no control group, but the lead author called the observations “hopeful.” You can read Andrew’s story on remdesivir and 14 other leading treatments that are now being tested against COVID-19 here. 

Here are the 15 leading coronavirus treatments already being tested in COVID-19 patients, and the major trials now underway to see if they work

The pandemic is upending medical research across the board, as big pharma mobilizes to find a treatment. GSK for example is betting $250 million on buzzy biotech Vir as the two team up to hunt for coronavirus treatments and vaccines. In related news, Blake Dodge reported this week that Alphabet’s life-sciences firm Verily may use its giant patient registry to help sign people up to test coronavirus treatments.

And Blake separately reported that tests that can tell if you’re immune to the coronavirus are on the way. She breaks down the companies racing to bring them to the US healthcare system here

The flip side here, as Andrew and Blake report, is that dozens of biotechs are putting clinical trials on hold as the search for a coronavirus vaccine makes it harder to find cures for cancer, heart disease, and neurological disorders

(For more on how Andrew is covering the high-stakes race for a coronavirus vaccine, he talked to deputy executive editor Olivia Oran about his reporting.)

Meanwhile, Apple and Google on Friday announced they are building a system to track COVID-19 cases. But as Rob Price reported, the plan is let down by America’s testing failures.

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Startups to watch

From Melia Russell and Paayal Zaveri:

The coronavirus outbreak has changed not only where people work from, but how they work and what tools they use.

Already, apps like Zoom and Slack have seen huge increases in usage in the past few weeks, as users grab onto ways to stay connected in their work and personal lives while social distancing.

The urgent need for better work tools could catapult some enterprise startups into the pantheon of unicorn startups, as their users multiply and venture capital investors jump to fund them.

They asked VCs to tell them about one startup in their portfolio, and one where they have no financial interest, and came up with a list of 30 startups to watch. You can read more here. 

30 startups creating the future of work that will prosper in 2020, according to VCs

Elsewhere in startup news:

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A real estate meltdown

The week started with the news that WeWork board members are suing SoftBank for backing out of its plan to buy $3 billion of shares. Meghan Morris reported that former CEO Adam Neumann is still weighing legal options.

Meghan and Dan Geiger then revealed that WeWork rival Knotel is scrambling to pay millions in bills that started stacking up before the coronavirus hit, and hasn’t paid April rent at some locations. They also got leaked Knotel financials, which show it struggled to hit sales targets.


Below are headlines on some of the stories you might have missed from the past week. Stay safe, everyone.

— Matt

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