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Health

Grifols says anti-coronavirus hyperimmune immunoglobins may be ready mid-July

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Spanish pharmaceutical company Grifols said on Tuesday the hyperimmune immunoglobins it is developing as a treatment against SARS-COV-2 could be ready in mid-July.

The Barcelona-based company also said it is producing a test device to detect the coronavirus, which it expects to be ready in early May as its plasma centres and industrial and commercial sites remain operational amid the global health crisis.

SARS-CoV-2 is the formal name for the coronavirus.

Grifols announced first quarter results in which it posted an 8% year-to-year net profit rise of 186.4 million euros ($202 million). Its net sales grew to 1.29 billion euros ($1.40 billion) versus 1.16 billion euros a year ago.

The company said it was taking measures to strengthen its liquidity during the crisis, adding it was confident in its long-term growth strategy.

CM Capital Markets considered the results “positive for the stock as net profit came above consensus estimates”.

The results were very much in line with estimates and consensus, said Renta 4 analyst Ana Gomez in a note, adding that the company had underlying “favourable dynamics”.

Grifols said on March 25 it agreed to work with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other agencies to gather plasma from patients who have recovered from the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus and to test potential therapies.

The plasma would be processed to produce hyperimmune immunoglobins, which would then be put to pre-clinical and clinical tests to see if they could help treat the disease, Grifols said then in a statement.

The company is also providing support to utilize transfusion of convalescent plasma as a potential treatment in the United States using viral inactivation technology, also known as methylene blue, it said on Tuesday.

Separately, Grifols is working with health authorities in Spain and Germany to launch clinical trials also using convalescent plasma and other proteins, such as immunoglobin, as a potential treatment against the coronavirus.

Reporting by Joan Faus; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne

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