Regeneron CEO warns Trump results ‘unique case’ and coronavirus drug needs more testing

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President Donald Trump called the cocktail of antibodies he received to fend off the coronavirus a “cure,” but the CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. said on Sunday that Trump’s case was only “a case of ‘a’ and that the treatment had yet to be tested. before its effectiveness is known.

In an interview with CBS News’ Face the Nation, Regeneron REGN,
+ 0,36%
CEO Leonard Schleifer – whose company made the experimental drug cocktail that apparently helped Trump – has warned against jumping to conclusions. “So the president’s case is one, and that’s what we call a case report, and it’s evidence of what’s going on, but it’s kind of the weakest evidence that you can get it, ”he said, according to a CBS News transcript. .

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

“The real proof has to come – on the quality of a drug and what it will do on average – has to come from these large clinical trials, these randomized clinical trials, which are the gold standard. And these are ongoing, ”he said.

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

Schleifer was also cautious in this assessment. While saying that the Regeneron drug “creates” immunity, it is not known how long it lasts. “It could take months, years,” he said. “If you get it in our bottle, if you will, it’ll probably last you months.”

Schleifer has also responded to Trump’s call for the drug Regeneron to be distributed free of charge to everyone in need. 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 ready-to-use doses.

Still, with the United States recording an average of nearly 50,000 new cases a day last week, “That’s not enough,” Schleifer said, adding that if the drug proves effective, other drug makers will be needed to participate in production. “Regeneron cannot do this alone. We need the whole industry, ”he said.

By then, he said the government and local health authorities should decide who will receive the drug. “Vulnerable people, the elderly, people at high risk, family contacts maybe. We have to find ways to ration this, ”he said.

Regeneron stock is up 60% year-to-date, versus the S&P 500’s SPX,
+ 0,87%
7.6% gain this year.

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