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Regeneron hopes to have COVID-19 treatment by summer for testing

Company has major presence in Rensselaer County

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Eric Anderson

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ CEO said Tuesday the company hopes to have it coronavirus treatment ready for human testing by August. Leonard Schleifer, in an interview Tuesday on CNBC, said the company could have 200,000 doses ready by August, and that it would pursue both clinical trials and drug manufacturing simultaneously.

“We can do this in parallel,” he told CNBC. “As soon as we get a green light that it looks good, we’ll be able to deploy those large-scale approaches.”

Tarrytown-based Regeneron has its major manufacturing facility in East Greenbush, and has been expanding rapidly in Rensselaer County, where it employs about 4,500 people.

Regeneron last month announced it had reached an expanded agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop new treatments. Last year, it developed a treatment for Ebola that produced positive clinical data. It also is working on a treatment for the flu, as well as for 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus.

The original agreement with the HHS was established in 2017 and targeted up to 10 pathogens “that pose significant risk to public health,” the company said.

Worldwide, more than 95,000 coronavirus cases have been reported since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China at the end of December. While more than 3,200 people have died, another 51,000 have recovered, according to worldometers.info. The rapid spread has disrupted trade and travel globally.

A Regeneron spokesperson couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Regeneron shares (Nasdaq: REGN) were up $23.65, or 5.13 percent, in mid-afternoon trading Wednesday.

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