HHS Collaboration on 2019-nCoV Treatment

February 4, 2020

To develop therapeutics to treat the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services' (HHS') Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced today that it will expand an existing collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. of Tarrytown, New York.

"Emerging infectious diseases can present serious threats to our nation's health security," said Rick Bright, Ph.D., deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response and director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at ASPR. "Working as public-private partners like we have with Regeneron since 2014, we can move rapidly to respond to new global health threats."

BARDA and Regeneron now will leverage their partnership agreement to develop multiple monoclonal antibodies that, individually or in combination, could be used to treat this emerging coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV.

To obtain information about any potential products in development in the private sector that could be used in responding to 2019-nCoV, the U.S. government on Friday launched a single point of entry website for innovators and product developers to submit brief descriptions of their diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and other products or technologies relevant to this new virus.

Also on Friday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar declared a nationwide public health emergency to aid state health departments' efforts to curb the spread of the virus in the U.S.

Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued interim guidance on “Risk Assessment and Public Health Management of Persons with Potential 2019-nCoV Exposure in Travel-associated or Community Settings.” The guidance states that “Public health actions may include active monitoring or supervision of self-monitoring by public health authorities, or the application of movement restrictions, including isolation and quarantine, when needed to prevent the possible spread of 2019-nCoV in US communities. The recommendations in this guidance apply to US-bound travelers and people located in the United States who may have been exposed to 2019-nCoV… CDC recognizes that decisions and criteria to use such public health measures may differ by jurisdiction. Consistent with principles of federalism, state and local jurisdictions may choose to make decisions about isolation, other public health orders, and monitoring that provide a greater level of public health protection than recommended in federal guidance.”