(Reuters) – Eli Lilly and Co said on Wednesday the U.S. government has purchased 650,000 additional doses of its COVID-19 antibody drug for $812.5 million.



a sign in front of a building: FILE PHOTO: The logo of Lilly is seen on a wall of the Lilly France company unit, part of the Eli Lilly and Co drugmaker group, in Fegersheim near Strasbourg


© Reuters/VINCENT KESSLER
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Lilly is seen on a wall of the Lilly France company unit, part of the Eli Lilly and Co drugmaker group, in Fegersheim near Strasbourg

The doses will be delivered through Jan. 31, with at least 350,000 delivered in December, the company said.

The drug has been authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use, and the government bought 300,000 doses in October.

The new purchase is part of a U.S. government deal to secure nearly 1 million doses of Lilly’s bamlanivimab, a treatment similar to Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc’s COVID-19 antibody therapy that U.S. President Donald Trump received in October during his illness.

The treatments belong to a class of drugs called monoclonal antibodies that are manufactured copies of antibodies created by the body to fight against an infection.

Lilly anticipates manufacturing up to one million doses of bamlanivimab by the end of 2020 for use around the world through early next year.

(Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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