Infamous “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli claims to be working on a cure for the coronavirus — and he wants to be sprung from prison so he can conduct his research.
In an 11-page scientific paper posted online, the convicted fraudster touted himself as “one of the few executives experienced in ALL aspects of drug development” and denigrated other efforts to come up with treatments for the deadly virus.
“The industry response to COVID-19 is inadequate,” wrote Shkreli, 37.
“All biopharmaceutical companies should be responding with all resources to combat this health emergency.”
Shkreli, who gained notoriety for jacking up the price of the AIDS drug Daraprim nearly 5,000 percent in 2015, is serving a seven-year sentence for scamming investors in hedge funds he ran.
He’s currently locked up at a low-security federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, with a scheduled release date in September 2023.
“I am asking for a brief furlough (3 months) to assist in research work on COVID-19,” he wrote.
“Being released to the post-COVID world is no solace to even the incarcerated.”
Shkreli — who’s the lead author of the paper and is identified in a footnote as a “citizen scientist” — also noted that he hadn’t “been paid for any work on this matter or any other matter while incarcerated.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I have not been paid for any work on this matter or any other matter while incarcerated,” he wrote.
“I do not expect to profit in any way, shape or form from coronavirus-related treatments.”
The paper — titled “In silico screening for potential COVID-19 beta-coronavirus non-nucleoside RdRp inhibitors” — was posted on the website of “Prospero Pharmaceuticals,” which identifies itself as a biotech company that’s “developing therapies for unmet medical needs in orphan diseases.”
One of the paper’s co-authors — Kevin Mulleady, who Brooklyn federal prosecutors called an un-indicted co-conspirator in Shkreli’s fraud case — is linked to Prospero in a footnote.
Mulleady is also a co-defendant, with Shkreli, in a Manhattan federal court suit filed in January by the Federal Trade Commission and New York Attorney General Letitia James over their alleged “anticompetitive scheme” to maintain a monopoly on Daraprim and its $750-a-pill list price.
Two other co-authors, Maureen Lohry and James Rondina, wrote letters seeking leniency for Shkreli following his 2017 conviction.
Shkreli has yet to formally request a furlough, but his defense lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said he would submit papers “shortly” to both the Bureau of Prisons and Brooklyn federal Judge Kiyo Matsumoto, who oversaw his case.
“I have often said that left to his own devices, I believe Martin could cure cancer,” Brafman told The Post.
“Feel the same about coronavirus. Warehousing this genius instead of letting him help with the research, makes no sense whatsoever.”
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