Last Updated on April 6, 2020
Martin Shkreli, the controversial former pharmaceutical executive who was convicted of securities fraud, has asked the federal government for a three month furlough so he can contribute to the race to find viable treatments for coronavirus.
According to his statement in a new scientific paper released by Prospero Pharma, which describes itself as “a biotechnology company developing therapies for unmet medical needs in orphan diseases,” Shkreli is asking for the furlough so he can join the company in finding successful coronavirus treatments.
As noted by Cassandra Fairbanks in The Gateway Pundit, “Shkreli is currently serving seven years in a federal penitentiary in Pennsylvania for securities fraud, but has a unique history of experience developing new drugs,” and the former biotech entrepreneur believes that he is uniquely suited to tackle coronavirus.
In the paper, Shkreli writes, “The industry response to COVID-19 is inadequate. All biopharmaceutical companies should be responding with all resources to combat this health emergency.”
“Donations from these very valuable companies do not go far enough,” Shkreli continues. “The biopharmaceutical industry has a large brain trust of talent that is not working on this problem as companies have deprioritized or even abandoned infectious disease research.”
He goes on to explain his motivations for requesting the furlough.
“I am asking for a brief furlough (3 months) to assist in research work on COVID-19. Being released to the post-COVID world is no solace to even the incarcerated,” wrote Shkreli.
“As a successful two-time biopharma entrepreneur, having purchased multiple companies, invented multiple new drug candidates, filed numerous INDs and clinical trial applications, I am one of the few executives experienced in ALL aspects of drug development from molecule creation and hypothesis generation, to preclinical assessments and clinical trial design/target engagement demonstration, and manufacturing/synthesis and global logistics and deployment of medicines.”
Shkreli also noted that he has not been paid for his work in preparing the scientific paper, and that he will not be paid if he is released on furlough to pursue coronavirus treatments.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I have not been paid for any work on this matter or any other matter while incarcerated. I do not expect to profit in any way, shape or form from coronavirus-related treatments,” wrote Shkreli.
He added, “I believe any company developing a coronavirus drug should seek to recoup its cost at most and be willing to perform the work as a civil service at the least.”
The paper also notes that due to communication restrictions placed on prisons due to the pandemic, Shkreli was not able to review the final version of the paper before it was released to the public.