March 16, 2020 / 12:06 PM / 2 months ago

Sanofi, Regeneron begin testing arthritis drug as coronavirus treatment

A logo is seen in front of the entrance at the headquarters French drugmaker Sanofi in Paris October 30, 2014. Sanofi's board ousted its chief executive of six years on Wednesday, criticising him for an authoritarian management style that was often popular with investors as he lifted the French drugmaker onto the global stage. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann (FRANCE - Tags: BUSINESS LOGO HEALTH)

(Reuters) - Sanofi SA and partner Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc have started a clinical trial of their rheumatoid arthritis drug Kevzara as a treatment for the coronavirus, the companies said on Monday.

Enrolments for the mid-to-late stage trial will begin immediately, and the companies anticipate the trial will test up to 400 patients.

Kevzara is an infection-fighting protein known as monoclonal antibody.

Regeneron in February announced a partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a coronavirus treatment, and had said it would focus on monoclonal antibodies.

Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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