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Trump Sets Up Pharma Billionaires for Coronavirus Payday

Regeneron’s federally funded Covid-19 treatment, which was used to treat Donald Trump, will likely be unavailable to most patients.

The development of the antibody cocktail used to treat President Donald Trump for Covid-19 — which he heralded as a cure for the disease — was funded largely by the U.S. government, yet the Trump administration has apparently failed to set any guarantees that the treatment would be affordable. The biopharmaceutical company Regeneron, led by the two highest paid executives in the industry, received hundreds of millions in public funds during the research and development of the antibody therapy, and now stands to make a killing from its potentially lifesaving treatment.

Leonard Schleifer and George Yancopoulos founded Regeneron in 1988 to focus on neurological problems and rare disorders, but the company’s early years were rocky. One of its first products, envisioned as a treatment for Lou Gehrig’s disease, proved a high profile failure in 1997 when data showed it was ineffective against the fatal neurological disorder.