Health Canada authorizes COVID-19 antibody treatment for emergency use

Nov 23 2020, 2:28 pm

Health Canada authorized Eli Lilly and Company’s antibody therapy for emergency use to help treat COVID-19 infections.

On Friday, Health Canada made the decision to permit the use of a single antibody treatment called bamlanivimab, which has been approved for adults and children age 12 and older with mild to moderate infections.

“This authorization in Canada furthers our goal of making bamlanivimab available to patients who need it around the world and is evidence of the strong collaboration between industry and governments to get COVID-19 medicines to people as quickly as possible,” said David A. Ricks, Lilly’s chairman and CEO, in a statement.

“We are proud that this treatment, which was developed in partnership with the Canadian biotech company AbCellera, will soon be available to help people in Canada combat this pandemic.”

So far the American pharmaceutical company has conducted a Phase 1 study of the antibody treatment in hospitalized patients. A Phase 2 study is currently ongoing with people who have recently been diagnosed in an ambulatory setting. A Phase 3 study will be done for the prevention of COVID-19 in residents and staff at long-term care facilities.

“As a Canadian company, we are proud to contribute to the global fight against COVID-19 and hope our efforts will help people in Canada and around the world in the face of this medical emergency,” said AbCellera CEO Carl Hansen in the release.

“We applaud Lilly for bringing bamlanivimab to patients at record speed and its commitment to ensure treatment access for patients with high unmet needs, no matter where they live.”

Health Canada granted authorization for Lilly’s antibody therapy under Section 3 of the federal government’s Interim Order Respecting the Importation, Sale and Advertising of Drugs for Use in Relation to COVID-19.

According to Eli Lilly, there are no Canadian patients or physicians currently using the antibody treatment.

Clarrie FeinsteinClarrie Feinstein

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