COVID-19 Antibody Treatment Approved for Emergency-Use in Canada

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An antibody therapy for COVID-19 has been granted emergency use authorization by Health Canada.

Eli Lilly and Co was given the green light to distribute bamlanivimab to treat patients ages 12 and up with mild to moderate COVID-19 infections Friday, according to Health Canada's website. 

The treatment is for those at risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 symptoms or hospitalization — not for patients who are already hospitalized or require oxygen.

According to CTV News, Lilly anticipates manufacturing up to one million doses by the end of 2020 for use around the world.

Bamlanivimab is the first monoclonal antibody to be authorized for use in treating coronavirus and was granted emergency-use by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. at the beginning of November.

According to the release, bamlanivimab is designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells to neutralize the virus and potentially treat COVID-19.

The antibody therapy was developed in partnership with the Canadian biotech company AbCellera.

Scientists at Lilly developed the treatment in less than three months after the antibody was discovered by AbCellera in a blood sample taken from one of the first U.S. patients to recover from the virus

There are no Canadian patients or physicians currently using the antibody treatment, according to Lilly.