Medical workers in protective suits attend to patients at the Wuhan International Conference and Exhibition Center, which has been converted into a makeshift hospital to receive patients with mild symptoms caused by the novel coronavirus, in Wuhan, Hubei province, China February 5, 2020. China Daily via REUTERS
(Reuters) – Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc is ramping up efforts to develop a set of coronavirus treatments, which could be available for testing or use in some patients within a few months, the drugmaker said on Thursday.
The drugmaker on Tuesday expanded its arrangement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to collaborate on developing a treatment, joining the race to develop a treatment for the virus that has killed more than 550 people.
Regeneron said the treatments could be made available through a “compassionate use” program that provides patients access to experimental drugs outside of a clinical trial when there are no viable alternatives.
“We’re already scaling up one set of potential antibody treatments,” Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos said on a conference call with analysts.
Regeneron has said it is focusing on developing infection-fighting proteins known as monoclonal antibodies and use the same technology that was used to develop an experimental drug to treat Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Shares of the company rose 4% to $387 in trading before the bell as it also reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.
Reporting by Manas Mishra and Saumya Sibi Joseph in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty