Teva Donates 6 Million Tablets of Malaria Drug to Fight Coronavirus in U.S.

Teva is donating 6 million tablets of a malaria drug to fight coronavirus in the U.S. The Israeli drugmaker plans to give those shipments to U.S. hospitals by March 31 and another 4 million within a month.
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Shares of Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical TEVA rose after the world’s biggest generic-drug company said it was donating more than 6 million doses of its malaria drug to treat coronavirus.

The tablets will go through wholesalers to U.S. hospitals by March 31, the Israeli company said. It plans to ship more than 10 million within a month.

The drug is called hydroxychloroquine sulfate. President Donald Trump touted it Thursday as a potential treatment for coronavirus and urged an increase in its use.

Teva is “meet[ing] the urgent demand for the medicine as an investigational target to treat Covid-19,” the company said in a statement.

“We are committed to helping to supply as many tablets as possible as demand for this treatment accelerates at no cost,” Brendan O’Grady, Teva's executive vice president-North America commercial, said in the statement.

The company is considering additional production of the drug. Teva’s hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat malaria, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.

“Although the product is not currently approved for use in the treatment of Covid-19, it is currently under investigation for efficacy against the coronavirus and has been requested by U.S. government officials to be made available for use immediately,” Teva said.

U.S. health officials this week asked Teva to increase shipments of the drug, Teva spokeswoman Kelley Dougherty told Bloomberg.

In the U.S. more than 14,300 people have been infected by the virus and more than 200 of them have died, according to Worldometer.

At last check, Teva ADRs traded at $7.89, up 10%.