Czech health ministry recommends use of Lilly and Regeneron COVID-19 antibody therapies - Metro US

Czech health ministry recommends use of Lilly and Regeneron COVID-19 antibody therapies

FILE PHOTO: The Regeneron Pharmaceuticals company logo is seen on a building at the company's Westchester campus in Tarrytown

PRAGUE (Reuters) – The Czech Health Ministry will recommend the use of COVID-19 therapies that contain casirivimab/imdevimab and bamlavinimab antibodies ahead of standard approval, the ministry said on Monday.

Both therapies are being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the agency said last week.

The Czech Republic has been among the European countries worst hit by the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic, with the number of new infections per 100,000 people higher only in Portugal and Spain, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released last week.

“The Ministry will recommend distribution and use of unregistered treatments which contain casirivimab/imdevimab and bamlavinimab antibodies,” the ministry said.

It said it would wait for an expert opinion from the national drug agency SUKL before issuing a final ruling.

The former points to Regeneron’s cocktail of casirivimab and imdevimab, which was authorised for emergency use in the United States in November, and was given to then U.S. president Donald Trump during his COVID-19 infection.

The latter, Eli Lilly’s combination therapy of two antibodies, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, helped cut the risk ofhospitalisation and death in COVID-19 patients by 70%, data froma late-stage trial showed in January.

Czechs should receive the first 500 doses of the therapy in February, Prime Minister Andrej Babis said last Friday.

The ministry said the treatment would be beneficial mainly for patients with high risk of deterioration, such as people who had received organ transplants.

(Reporting by Robert Muller, editing by Ed Osmond)

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