‘Pharma Bro’ wants out of prison to research coronavirus

NEW YORK (AP) – Convicted former drug company CEO Martin Shkreli, known as ‘Pharma Bro’, wants to get out of prison so he can help research a treatment for the coronavirus, his lawyer said
on Tuesday.

Defence attorney Ben Brafman said that he will file court papers asking federal authorities to release Shkreli for three months so he can do laboratory work “under strict supervision”.

His client — best known before his arrest for drug price-gouging and his snarky online persona — is housed at a low-security prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

“I have always said that if focussed and left in a lab, Martin could help cure cancer,” Brafman said in a statement. “Maybe he can help the scientific community better understand this terrible virus.”

In a research proposal posted online, Shkreli called the pharmaceutical industry’s response to the pandemic “inadequate” and said researchers at every drug company “should be put to work until COVID-19 is no more”.

Shkreli wrote that his background “as a successful two-time biopharma entrepreneur, having purchased multiple companies, invented multiple new drug candidates” would make him a valuable asset.

“I am one of the few executives experienced in all aspects of drug development,” he said, adding, “I do not expect to profit in any way, shape or form from coronavirus-related treatments.”