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US reserves 300,000 doses of Lilly's COVID-19 treatment in $375 million deal

Published on 28/10/20 at 12:16pm

The US Government has signed a $375 million deal with Eli Lilly to buy 300,000 700mg doses of bamlanivimab, its neutralising antibody for the treatment of COVID-19.

The therapy can be rolled out on the condition that it secures Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA. Lilly applied for this authorisation early this month in patients with mild to moderate cases of infection with the virus.

Should the FDA approve the drug in this indication, Lilly plans to begin distribution immediately following the decision and ship all agreed doses within two months. As part of the agreement, the US Government will have the option to order a further 650,000 doses under the same terms, to be delivered through to 30 June 2021.  

According to previous commitments from the US Government, no patient receiving these doses will face out-of-pocket costs, though it was noted that healthcare facilities have the right to charge a fee for administering the therapy. Lilly has teamed up with the government’s Operation Warp Speed initiative to help roll out the medicine to those that need it without risking increased transmission of the virus.

"Supply agreements with governments – such as this one with the US Government to meet Operation Warp Speed goals – are fundamental to enable the most widespread and equitable access to our potential therapy," commented David A Ricks, Chairman and CEO at Eli Lilly. "The US is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases and associated hospitalisations, and we believe bamlanivimab could be an important therapeutic option that can bring value to the overall healthcare system, as it has shown a potential benefit in clinical outcomes with a reduction in viral load and rates of symptoms and hospitalisations."

 Lilly aims to manufacture up to a million doses of bamlanivimab before the end of this year, with 100,000 doses ready to go by the time an FDA authorisation could feasibly be secured.

Matt Fellows

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