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Politics

Trump Had Stakes in Regeneron and Gilead, Makers of Antibody Cocktail, Remdesivir

WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald Trump is now at the White House recovering from COVID-10, after his hospitalization during which he received “a single 8-gram dose of Regeneron's monoclonal antibody cocktail as a precautionary measure,” according to his physician Sean Conley, USA Today reported on October 3.

As part of the effort to find treatments for COVID-10, called Operation Warp Speed, the “New York state-based Regeneron won a $450 million federal contract in July to manufacture and supply the company's antibody cocktail REGN-COV2,” USA Today reported.

A New York Times article dated October 2 noted that “Regeneron’s chief executive, Dr. Leonard S. Schleifer, a member of Trump’s golf club in Westchester County, New York, said Trump’s medical staff reached out to the company for permission to use the drug and the Food and Drug Administration cleared it,” USA Today reported.

Trump “previously reported he earned capital gains from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Gilead Sciences Inc., the manufacturers of two of the medicines he has taken as part of his COVID-19 treatment plan,” USA Today reported.

“According to a 2017 financial disclosure form filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics in June 2017, Trump had a capital gain of $50,001 to $100,000 for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and $100,001 to $1 million for Gilead Sciences Inc.,” USA Today reported, adding that “the form notes the information was of April 15, 2017.”

Subsequent disclosure forms, including Trump’s “2020 form signed July 31, did not list Regeneron or Gilead,” USA Today reported.

Regeneron's antibody cocktail “is in four late-stage clinical trials, and its safety and efficacy have not been fully evaluated by any regulatory authority,” according to the company’s webpage, USA Today reported.

"All we can say is that they asked to be able to use it, and we were happy to oblige,” Schleifer told the Times, calling it a “compassionate use” case, USA Today reported, adding that “Trump isn’t the first patient to try the experimental treatment outside of the clinical trial through compassion use.”

“When it’s the president of the United States, of course, that gets – obviously – gets our attention,” Schleifer told the Times, USA Today reported, noting that “Regeneron stock rose $19.20 a share in after-hours trading.”

Greek-American Dr. George Yancopoulos, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron, recently stated in a news release: "After months of incredibly hard work by our talented team, we are extremely gratified to see that Regeneron's antibody cocktail REGN-COV2 rapidly reduced viral load and associated symptoms in infected COVID-19 patients. The greatest treatment benefit was in patients who had not mounted their own effective immune response, suggesting that REGN-COV2 could provide a therapeutic substitute for the naturally-occurring immune response. These patients were less likely to clear the virus on their own, and were at greater risk for prolonged symptoms. We are highly encouraged by the robust and consistent nature of these initial data, as well as the emerging well-tolerated safety profile, and we have begun discussing our findings with regulatory authorities while continuing our ongoing trials. In addition to having positive implications for REGN-COV2 trials and those of other antibody therapies, these data also support the promise of vaccines targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein."

Trump also received Gilead’s remdesivir, as part of his treatment. Remdesevir “has been authorized for COVID-19 patients by the FDA under an emergency use declaration,” USA Today reported, adding that “trials showed effectiveness under some circumstances.”

Remdesivir “received a guarded endorsement in April from Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, when it was announced as a new tool in the fight against the virus at a presidential new conference,” USA Today reported.

It was “unclear” on October 3 “whether the president currently has any direct holdings in Regeneron and Gilead but it appears he still has a stake in hydroxychloroquine, a drug he repeatedly touted as a treatment for COVID-19 despite warnings about its effectiveness,” USA Today reported.

“Trump’s latest financial disclosure form does report his family trusts' investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund,” USA Today reported, adding that “a New York Times article in April said the fund’s largest holding is thought to be in Sanofi, the pharmaceutical firm that is one of the major producers of hydroxychloroquine.”

The 2017 financial disclosure form is available online: https://extapps2.oge.gov/201/Presiden.nsf/PAS+Index/12DAC79CC95F849085258142002703CA/$FILE/Trump,%20Donald%20J.%20%20final278.pdf.

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