HHS, pharmaceutical firm collaborating on coronavirus treatment

HHS, pharmaceutical firm collaborating on coronavirus treatment
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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said Tuesday that it is collaborating with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals on a coronavirus treatment. 

HHS said it would work with the company on monoclonal antibodies, which help prevent a virus from infecting human cells. 

Regeneron previously worked on this type of treatment for Ebola and Middle East respiratory syndrome. 


HHS is working with the company through a unit known as the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA). 

“Working as public-private partners like we have with Regeneron since 2014, we can move rapidly to respond to new global health threats,” said BARDA Director Rick Bright. 

The department also launched a website on Friday that allows companies to report work they are doing that could be helpful for diagnosing, preventing or treating coronavirus.

The virus has set off warnings as it has spread in China, infecting thousands of people and killing hundreds. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease doctor at the National Institutes of Health, has said he hopes to start a phase one clinical trial on a vaccine for coronavirus in as soon as three months.    

“We’re already working on it," Fauci told Bloomberg late last month. "And hopefully in a period of about three months, we’ll be able to start a phase one trial in humans."