March 19, 2020 / 5:16 PM / 17 days ago

Bayer donates three million malaria tablets to U.S. for potential use against coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Bayer AG is pictured at the annual results news conference of the German drugmaker in Leverkusen, Germany February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay/File Photo

(Reuters) - Bayer AG said on Thursday it has donated 3 million tablets of the malaria drug Resochin to the U.S. government for potential use to treat COVID-19.

Resochin, made of chloroquine phosphate and an approved treatment for malaria, is being evaluated in China for its potential use against COVID-19, the disease caused by the fast-spreading coronavirus.

Bayer said the drug is currently not approved for use in the United States and the company is working with appropriate agencies on an emergency use authorization for its use in the United States.

U.S. President Donald Trump, speaking at a news conference on Thursday, called on U.S. health regulators to expedite potential therapies such as Gilead Sciences Inc’s Remdesivir and the generic antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, aimed at treating COVID-19.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

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