The 6 Degrees of Separating Coronavirus from President Trump

As the nation waits on edge, wondering what the President Trump's prognosis will be, investment bank Raymond James' team of biotechnology analysts stepped up over the weekend to lay out the possible treatments the President might receive -- and which companies stand behind these treatments. Listed in order of likelihood, Raymond analysts suggest that:

The first treatment the President will receive -- indeed, has already received according to Presidential physician Dr. Sean Conley -- is a "cocktail" comprising two neutralizing antibodies prepared by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals' (REGN) -- REGN-COV2. Raymond James analyst Dane Leone explains that this cocktail is designed to both accelerate "viral clearance" and alleviate the symptoms of Covid. Not yet approved for "emergency use" by the FDA, Regeneron's treatment has presumably been authorized for "compassionate use" -- an indication that often indicates a drug is more of a hail mary than a proven, effective treatment.

Alternatively / supplementally, the President's physicians may administer Eli Lilly's (LLY) neutralizing antibodies -- also not FDA-approved.

The third potential treatment -- the third actual treatment already administered, according to Walter Reed physician Dr. Brian Garibaldi -- is Gilead Sciences' (GILD) Remdesivir antiviral drug. Phase 3 clinical trials indicate that when administered once a day for five or 10 days in a row, patients with severe cases of COVID-19 tend to recover five days faster with this drug than without. The President is reported to be on the five-day course of treatment for now, and this treatment has been FDA-authorized for emergency use.

Next up: Convalescent plasma. Essentially, this treatment begins with a different patient, who has survived coronavirus, donating blood plasma in hope of passing on his or her antibodies to a new patient who might be able to make use of them. About 100,000 patients in the U.S. are on this therapy, which has been approved for emergency use. It is not known if President Trump is one of them.

Doctors consider the use of steroids "an effective therapy for hospitalized patients on oxygen support, particularly invasive," reports Raymond James. President Trump is technically hospitalized (i.e. residing in a hospital), but reports are conflicting as to whether he has, or is, or will be, taking supplemental oxygen. One bit of evidence that might clarify his condition: CNN reports that the President was dosed with the generic corticosteroid dexamethasone on Saturday.

And finally, the treatment you've all been waiting for: Hydroxychloroquine. In use worldwide since 1955, this antimalarial drug is now even more generic than dexamethasone (in use since '61). The FDA has pulled its emergency use authorization for the drug, but that didn't stop President Trump from taking it even before his diagnosis as a preventative measure.

That apparently didn't work out as planned, but word has it that doctors are taking a "kitchen sink" approach to the President's illness, trying everything and anything that might work as a cure. If nothing else works, perhaps this will.

Using TipRanks’ Stock Comparison tool, we lined up Regeneron, Eli Lilly and Gilead alongside each other to get the lowdown on what the near-term holds for these pharmaceutical giants.

To find good ideas for healthcare stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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