Regeneron CEO says Trump’s use of drug cocktail puts it in ‘tough’ spot

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Regeneron’s stock surged on the news that President Trump was treated for COVID-19 with its drug cocktail, but the company’s CEO said its high-profile patient put it in “a very tough situation.”

Dr. Leonard Schleifer told CNBC on Monday that the president’s use of the “polyclonal antibodies” drug — which is still in clinical trials and has yet to be approved for wider use — was tricky because it required a “compassionate use” request from the commander-in-chief’s doctors.

Regeneron shares on Monday were recently up 7.2 percent at $605.20.

“We have tried to take a principled approach until there is a broader authorization,” Schleifer said on “Squawk Box.” “Asking somebody like the president to go into a clinical trial just wasn’t practical.”

He added that the compassionate use case was correct for the president’s situation, but acknowledged that there is still work to be done to meet the FDA’s standards for a wider rollout.

“We want everybody to be potentially able to benefit,” he said, adding: “If it’s my loved one or your loved one, … yes, we want to give this if we can help them. Of course, we want to get definitive evidence, so it’s a tough act to balance.”

The treatment has shown preliminary effectiveness in reducing the viral load and symptoms of people infected by the coronavirus by making their body better able to fight off the virus.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Monday that the president’s condition has been improving, and that he is hopeful Trump will leave the hospital later on Monday.

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