Hahn in a news conference with Trump on March 19 announced the FDA will make experimental drugs, including anti-malaria ones, available to coronavirus patients.
He said he didn’t want to give “false hope” but was optimistic about the treatments.
President Donald Trump, left, listens as Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn speaks during a news briefing with the Coronavirus Task Force, at the White House, March 19, 2020, in Washington. (Associated Press)
Hahn was sworn in as commissioner of Food and Drugs in December 2017, replacing Dr. Scott Gottlieb who resigned earlier in the year, and has an extensive background in patient care, academic research and executive leadership, according to the FDA’s website.
Before that, he was the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s chief medical executive, where he was responsible for managing the center, which takes care of more than 140,000 patients a year. He was also division head, department chair and professor of Radiation Oncology at the university.
From 2005 to 2014 he was chair of the Radiation Oncology department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.
He is a physician and scientist and specializes in lung cancer and sarcoma.
Hahn has written more than 220 research articles and has experience in clinical trials and medical product development spanning drugs, biologics, medical devices and diagnostics, according to the website.
When he was at the National Institute of Health’s National Cancer Institute he earned the rank of Commander in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and was a fellow in medical oncology and a resident in radiation oncology.
He graduated from the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University in Pennsylvania and received a bachelor’s from Rice University in Texas, according to the FDA.
Hahn has said he’s interested in expediting the product-approval process.
“In the new era where science is moving so quickly, the agency should be more efficient, and we should have more agility,” he said during his confirmation, according to Market Watch.