The CEO of Regeneron —which makes the experimental Covid-19 therapy taken by President Trump — is also a member of Trump’s golf club, and the two have met and discussed Regeneron’s drugs, according to a report that casts new light on Trump’s exclusive access to the company’s experimental antibody treatment that he lauds as a “cure” for Covid-19 and vows to make freely available
The Guardian reports that Leonard Schleifer — who Trump reportedly calls “Lenny” — is a member of the Trump National golf club in Briarcliff Manor, New York, and had met the president in May to discuss the drugs his company was developing.
Trump was treated with Regeneron’s experimental antibody therapy following his diagnosis with Covid-19 on Friday following a compassionate use request made by his doctors, which grants access in rare circumstances.
The experimental therapy is unavailable to most Americans with fewer than 10 other people having been treated under compassionate use arrangements, a Regeneron spokesperson said.
Trump piled lavish praise on the therapy following his treatment, incorrectly calling it a “cure” before vowing, without saying how, to make it available to all Americans for free; Regeneron’s antibody therapy is not currently approved for widespread use and is still undergoing clinical trials.
Following the president’s comments, the biotechnology firm applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use approval.
Trump was taken to Walter Reed Medical Center less than 24 hours after he was diagnosed with Covid-19 on Friday. In addition to Regeneron’s antibody therapy, the president also has received the experimental antiviral remdesivir, produced by Gilead Sciences and approved for use by the FDA under an emergency authorization, and the steroid dexamethasone, which is ordinarily reserved for severe cases.
Trump has piled praise on Regeneron’s therapy in the days since his treatment, and called on regulators to approve Regeneron’s request for emergency authorization in a video Wednesday. $500 million. Regeneron has received more than $500 million from the federal government as a part of Operation Warp Speed.
What To Watch For
Keep an eye on the FDA. The organization will evaluate Regeneron’s request to authorize its experimental antibody therapy for emergency use which could see the therapy rolled out across the U.S.
Regeneron CEO Leonard Schleifer told CNBC that treating the president with the company’s experimental antibody therapy created a “very tough situation” for the company as the therapy has not received approval for widespread use.
50,000. Regeneron said it currently has enough doses for roughly 50,000 patients, with plans to expand this to 300,000 within the next few months.
This week Eli Lilly also requested emergency authorization from the FDA for its antibody therapy to treat Covid-19.
All The President’s Medicine (Forbes)