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The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has purchased 600 000 treatment courses of bebtelovimab—a monoclonal antibody that research shows effectively treats the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. Omicron is currently responsible for almost all COVID-19 cases in the US, according to an HHS statement.
“We want to make sure if an American gets sick with COVID-19, they can get a treatment that works,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, JD, said in the statement.
HHS expected to receive about 300 000 treatment courses of bebtelovimab, an Eli Lilly and Company product, in February. The remaining doses were scheduled to arrive in March. Early data suggest that bebtelovimab may be effective against not only Omicron but also the BA.2 Omicron subvariant that is beginning to spread in the US.
HHS’ contract with Eli Lilly stems from a collaboration between the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and the US Department of Defense’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense. The contract includes an option for 500 000 additional doses.
Bebtelovimab, which received an Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is being distributed across US states and territories. Since January, HHS has distributed more than 2.5 million COVID-19 therapies and treatments throughout the US, including monoclonal antibodies, antiviral pills, and preexposure prophylaxis.
“We have more COVID-19 treatments than ever before, we are providing a billion free at-home tests, and we have enough vaccines to get everyone vaccinated and boosted,” Becerra added. “If authorized by FDA, this purchase will add an additional 600 000 courses of treatment to our nation’s ‘medicine cabinet’ that could help prevent severe outcomes for Americans who do get sick with COVID-19.”
Créditos: Comité científico Covid