The pharmaceutical giant that makes a promising coronavirus drug has registered it as a rare disease treatment with U.S. regulatorsBy MATTHEW PERRONE and RICHARD LARDNER Associated PressMarch 24, 2020, 8:31 PM5 min readWASHINGTON — The pharmaceutical giant that makes a promising coronavirus drug has registered it as a rare disease treatment with U.S. regulators, a status that can potentially be worth millions in tax breaks and competition-free sales. What that specialty status will actually mean for the marketing or profitability of the Gilead Science’s experimental drug remdesivir isn’t clear. The drugmaker did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment. Experts who have studied the so-called “orphan drug” program say the company’s request — and the Food and Drug Administration’s decision to grant it — seem inappropriate given the rapidly expanding threat of the viral outbreak. A financial analyst, though, called Gilead’s request “pretty standard.” The FDA granted the status on Monday, according to the agency’s website. If approved for coronavirus, Gilead Sciences would receive seven years of exclusive U.S. marketing for the drug and tax credits on its research and development costs. Congress created the orphan drug program more than 35 years ago to encourage companies to develop drugs


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