Czech Health Ministry Recommends Use of Lilly and Regeneron Antibody Therapies

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 authorized 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 of hospitalisation and death in COVID-19 patients by 70%, data from a 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.

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