'Many' drugmakers working on coronavirus treatment: HHS Secretary Alex Azar

The US government is evaluating 'potential therapeutics' to treat infected patients

As coronavirus continues to spread, the U.S. government is working with "many" drugmakers to identify a treatment for infected patients, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Continue Reading Below

There is currently no cure for the virus.

"We, through the NIH and FDA, are working with many drug sponsors who have potential therapeutics that they may be able to use to help patients," Azar told FOX Business' Stuart Varney.

China has confirmed at least 17,205 new cases of the virus, with 361 deaths as of Monday. Eleven cases were reported in the U.S.

CORONAVIRUS TREATMENT WEEKS AWAY, DRUGMAKER SAYS

Biotechnology company Gilead Sciences' experimental drug remdesivir, which is used to treat Ebola, is undergoing clinical trials in China. While Azar declined to comment on the trial results, he did say it is a potential therapeutic, and that there's a protocol in place for using the treatment.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
GILDGILEAD SCIENCES INC.72.66-2.04-2.73%

"We're going to be deploying an all-government approach to making sure anything is available as quickly as possible of it shows clinical benefits," he said.

GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

Medical workers in protective suits move a coronavirus patient into an isolation ward at the Second People's Hospital in Fuyang in central China's Anhui Province, Saturday. (Chinatopix via AP)

Azar added that the risk to Americans within the United States of catching coronavirus is very low, adding that it is his job to work to keep it low through "appropriate measured steps."

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS