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Regeneron CEO Warns Trump’s Results Are ‘A Case For One’ And Coronavirus Drug Needs More Testing



Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has filed an emergency clearance application with the FDA for its experimental antibody treatment for the coronavirus.

Illustration by Getty Images / iStockphoto

President Donald Trump called the antibody cocktail he received to fend off the coronavirus “a cure”, but the chief executive of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said on Sunday that Trump’s case is simply “a case for one” and the treatment still needs further testing before its effectiveness is known.

In an interview with CBS News’s “Face the Nation”, Regeneron
REGN,
+ 0.36%

CEO Leonard Schleifer – whose company produced the experimental drug cocktail that apparently helped Trump – warned against jumping to conclusions.

“So the president’s case is a unique case, and it’s what we call a clinical case, and it’s evidence of what’s happening, but it’s kind of the weakest evidence you can get,” he said, according to a transcript of CBS News.

Schleifer said that while Trump’s case had “some very interesting aspects”, such as his age and risk factors, his findings are “only low on the scale of evidence we really need.”

“The real proof has to come – about how good a drug is and what it will do on average – has to come from these big clinical trials, these randomized clinical trials, which are the gold standard. And those are ongoing, “he said.

Trump’s doctors said Saturday that the president was no longer at risk of spreading the virus, and Trump told Fox News Sunday that he is now immune to COVID-19.

Schleifer was cautious in that assessment as well. While Regeneron is said to “create” immunity, it is not known how long it lasts. “It could be months, it could be years,” he said. “If you put it in our vial, if you do, it will probably last for months.”

Schleifer also addressed Trump’s request to distribute the Regeneron drug free of charge to all who need it. The US government has purchased 300,000 doses for $ 450 million, which will be distributed free of charge, and Schleifer said there are already 50,000 doses ready for use.

However, with the United States averaging nearly 50,000 new cases a day last week, “that’s not enough,” Schleifer said, adding that if the drug proves effective, other drug manufacturers will be needed to participate in the production. . “Regeneron can’t do it alone. We need the whole industry,” he said.

Until then, he said the government and local health authorities should decide who gets the drug. “Vulnerable people, the elderly, people at high risk, perhaps family contacts. We have to find ways to ration it, “he said.

Shares of Regeneron have risen 60% since the beginning of the year, compared to the S&P 500
SPX,
+ 0.87%

Gain of 7.6% this year.


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