With all the concern about the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the Price of Business Digit Network has been looking for positive stories in the war against this disease. They are using similar approaches that they deployed against Ebola.
We reached out to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, which works extensively in the biotech space. We received the following edited statement:
“Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has announced an expanded agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop new treatments combating the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, which was recently declared a global public health emergency by the World Health Organization. Regeneron has a number of active collaborations with HHS’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), including a collaboration to advance Regeneron’s investigational Ebola treatment REGN-EB3, which demonstrated positive clinical data in 2019.”
“The HHS and Regeneron Other Transaction Agreement (OTA), originally established in 2017, is focused on discovery, research, development and manufacturing of a portfolio of antibodies targeting up to 10 pathogens that pose significant risk to public health, now including the Influenza virus and 2019-nCoV. This effort utilizes Regeneron’s proprietary VelociSuite technologies – including the VelocImmune platform which uses a unique genetically-engineered mouse with a humanized immune system that can be challenged with all or parts of a virus of interest – to facilitate swift identification, preclinical validation and development of promising antibody candidates. Regeneron’s rapid response VelociSuite technologies are particularly well-suited for use in quickly-developing outbreak situations, as was done for Ebola.”
“The life-saving results seen with our investigational Ebola therapy last year underscore the potential impact of Regeneron’s rapid response platform for addressing emerging outbreaks,” said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron. “Our unique suite of technologies expedites and improves the drug discovery and development process at every stage, positioning Regeneron to respond quickly and effectively to new pathogens. We are eager to expand our productive collaboration with BARDA and are already working hard to address the novel coronavirus that is causing worldwide concern.”
“The Other Transaction Authority provides a funding and collaboration vehicle for HHS to promote innovation in technology for advanced research and development.”
“‘Emerging infectious diseases can present serious threats to our nation’s health security,’ said Rick Bright, Ph.D., Deputy Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Director of BARDA at ASPR. ‘Working as public-private partners like we have with Regeneron since 2014, we can move rapidly to respond to new global health threats.'”
“Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for over 30 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to seven FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
“Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite technologies, such as VelocImmune which uses unique genetically-humanized mice to produce optimized fully-human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.”