Potential coronavirus treatment granted rare disease status

The pharmaceutical giant that makes a promising coronavirus drug has registered it as a rare disease treatment with U.S. regulators. (MGN)
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WASHINGTON (AP) The pharmaceutical giant that makes a promising coronavirus drug has registered it as a rare disease treatment with U.S. regulators.

The status can be worth millions of dollars in tax breaks and competition-free sales.

Experts who have studied the so-called “orphan drug” program say the Gilead Science's request and the Food and Drug Administration's decision to grant it Monday seem inappropriate given the rapidly expanding threat of the outbreak.

But an analyst called the filing “pretty standard.”

Gilead did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

The FDA said the disease fits the criteria for a rare disease at this point.