Taxpayers are subsidizing 80 percent of Regeneron’s COVID-19 treatment’s R&D costs

Regeneron Pharmaceutical recently applied for Emergency Use Authorization of its investigational COVID-19 treatment, REGN-COV2, after Donald Trump said that it cured him of COVID-19, suggesting that Regeneron expects to cash in on the treatment. Taxpayers, however, are funding 80 percent of the costs of developing REGN-COV2.

Regeneron’s May 5, 2020 SEC filing states as follows (emphasis added):

We are using our end-to-end antibody technologies to discover and develop brand new therapeutic antibodies for COVID-19. The Company is advancing REGN-COV2, a novel investigational antibody “cocktail” treatment designed to prevent and treat infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In April, the Company moved its leading neutralizing antibodies into pre-clinical and clinical-scale cell production lines and plans to have supply available for clinical studies, which are expected to begin in June 2020.

The Company is also working to rapidly scale-up manufacturing.The Company also announced an expansion of its Other Transaction Agreement (“OTA”) with BARDA, pursuant to which HHS is obligated to fund 80% of our costs incurred for certain research and development activities related to COVID-19 treatments.

Regeneron should open license the IP rights, data, know-how, and cell lines necessary to manufacture the COVID-19 treatment to the World Health Organization COVID-19 Technology Access Pool (C-TAP), a global framework for the voluntary licensing of rights in COVID-19 medical technologies. A deep technology transfer to C-TAP, i.e., one that enables other qualified companies to manufacture the licensed technologies, is the best way to ensure that any treatment or vaccine deemed safe and effective is distributed as widely and quickly as possible.