Canada signs deal for thousands of doses of COVID-19 antibody treatment

Nov 24 2020, 7:08 pm

The Government of Canada has signed a deal to secure thousands of doses of a COVID-19 antibody treatment.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will procure up to 26,000 doses of an antibody therapy from Eli Lilly and Company.

Health Canada authorized the therapy for emergency use in the country on Friday.

Trudeau said there is the option for his government to order thousands more doses if need be.

Called bamlanivimab, the single-dose antibody treatment has been approved for use in children and adults over 12 years of age with mild to moderate COVID-19 infections who are at-risk of hospitalization from the virus.

In its decision, Health Canada said bamlanivimab must be administered within 10 days of the onset of symptoms.

The treatment was developed in partnership with AbCellera, a Canadian biotech company.

Canada has no domestic production capacity for vaccines, Trudeau said, but will be investing in production capabilities incase the world is ever gripped by another pandemic.

The federal government has signed deals with companies around the world to secure COVID-19 vaccines once they are available.

However, the prime minister said that it was too early to speculate on when any of them would be deemed safe to distribute.

“To keep Canadians safe, we need access to as many potential vaccines and treatment as possible,” Trudeau said.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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