While the country awaits the results of vaccine trials, the federal government is racing to stockpile quantities of COVID-19 antibody drugs in an effort to ensure treatment is available in the interim.
The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday announced that it is paying AstraZeneca $486 million to test and make a COVID-19 antibody cocktail candidate. It has already purchased bulk lots of Regeneron’s antibody cocktail and is in talks with Eli Lilly, according to Inside Health Policy.
“We have engaged in a number of contracts for procurement of these monoclonal antibodies already, so as they are fully manufactured, the federal government will have access to them,” HHS Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Paul Mango told the news outlet. The products will be added to the Strategic National Stockpile, he said.
The administration is on track to have up to 700 million vaccine doses by April 2021, Mango added.
Meanwhile, the National Institutes of Health on Monday announced that it now vetting additional promising COVID-19 treatments for large clinical trials.