Promising results for trial drug remdesivir are “good news” for patients with COVID-19, says Anthony Fauci, M.D., of the White House coronavirus task force.

The government-run study is one of many international trials in progress or completed by drugmaker Gilead Sciences. Patients in the current investigation recovered 31% faster than did a placebo group. They also appeared to fare better when the drug was introduced relatively soon after symptom onset, the company reported.

The resulting data is not a “knockout,” said Fauci, but the study achieved its goal of improving time to recovery, he said at a Wednesday press conference.

There may be enough evidence, in fact, for federal health officials to issue an emergency use authorization of the drug, according to former Food and Drug Administration official Scott Gottlieb.

In the meantime, hospital demand has plunged for the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine. The drug has been used off label in experimental COVID-19 treatment, but uncertainty about its effectiveness may have dampened interest.