Bayer announced Thursday it is joining the federal government’s fight against COVID-19 with a donation of 3 million tablets of the drug Resochin (chloroquine phosphate), which has shown to have some potential for treating patients with coronavirus.
Resochin is a product discovered by Bayer in 1934 and indicated for prevention and treatment of malaria. The company said it also appears to have broad spectrum antiviral properties and effects on the body’s immune response.
Resochin currently is not approved for use in the U.S.
Bayer is working with appropriate agencies on an emergency use authorization for the drug’s use here.
New data from initial preclinical and evolving clinical research conducted in China, while limited, shows potential for the use of Resochin in treating patients with COVID-19 infection, the company said.
Bayer said it has been in talks with the White House, Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food & Drug Administration in recent days, offering any assistance it can provide with a focus on donating Resochin to help in the government’s efforts to combat the virus.
President Donald Trump said during a news briefing Thursday that it is one of the candidates that the FDA is looking at for an immediate treatment option.
Gilead, with an antiviral, and Regeneron, with an antibody, are two other candidates. Gilead is conducting clinical trials in Washington state that are likely to show results by April.
Bayer is headquartered in Whippany.