Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Bayer Is Donating Its Malaria Drug That Could Help Coronavirus Patients In The U.S.

By Mark Prvulovic - Mar 18, 2020 at 8:57PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Early studies have shown the decades-old drug holds promise for treating the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

With no vaccines or treatments for COVID-19 on the market, many healthcare companies are evaluating existing drug treatments to see if they could be effective in helping COVID-19 patients. Bayer (BAYR.Y 1.06%) is preparing to donate a large supply of an older malaria drug to the U.S. government, according to Axios.

While there's still plenty of testing that would need to be done, Bayer's anti-malarial treatment, chloroquine, is relatively inexpensive while possibly being just as effective as other antiviral COVID-19 treatments being developed right now. The most prominent of which is remdesivir, Gilead Sciences(GILD 0.18%) former Ebola drug that's now in late-stage testing as a COVID-19 treatment.

A medical professional in a facemask holding an intravenous treatment.

Image source: Getty Images.

One study published in Nature found that remdesivir and chloroquine are both effective in suppressing COVID-19 in vitro (in test tubes). While it's just one study, these initial results are promising enough for healthcare authorities to further investigate chloroquine as a potential treatment in the future.

Remdesivir had a similar start, with clinical testing for the drug having begun shortly after it was used on a compassionate use basis for a COVID-19 patient showing severe symptoms.

Global pandemic

At the moment, there are almost 210,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases around the world. Chinese outbreaks have stabilized around 81,000, although the U.S. is seeing the number of infected people grow to more than 7,000. Europe has been affected far worse than North America at this point, with Italy alone having almost 36,000 confirmed outbreaks.

Trump formally declared a state of national emergency last week, with the Senate passing a coronavirus stimulus package to help Americans that was just signed by President Trump.

Mark Prvulovic has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Gilead Sciences. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Bayer Stock Quote
Bayer
BAYR.Y
$13.79 (1.06%) $0.14
Gilead Sciences, Inc. Stock Quote
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
GILD
$66.33 (0.18%) $0.12

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
403%
 
S&P 500 Returns
128%

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/17/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.