March 13, 2020 / 8:37 AM / 21 days ago

Pharma Mar says test of potential coronavirus drug promising

People pass near a drawing of a person wearing a mask in a wall, due to the coronavirus outbreak, in central Barcelona, Spain, March 12, 2020. REUTERS/Albert Gea

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish pharmaceutical company Pharma Mar (PHMR.MC) said on Friday tests carried out in test tubes with its cancer drug Aplidin on samples of a virus similar to the COVID-19 coronavirus were encouraging.

Investigators from Spain’s biotech centre Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia del Centro Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas showed Aplidin has a positive effect on multiplication and propagation of the virus, Pharma Mar said in a statement on Friday.

The company will contact regulatory authorities to analyse the possibility of testing the drug on patients with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Aplidin is marketed in countries like Australia as a treatment for certain blood cancers.

Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Jan Harvey

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