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Eli Lilly Strikes Deal With Samsung Biologics to Boost COVID-19 Antibody Manufacture

November 19, 2020

Eli Lilly and South Korea’s Samsung Biologics have forged a long-term partnership to expand the Indianapolis, Ind.-based drugmaker’s supply of COVID-19 neutralizing antibody treatments, amid concerns about shortages as coronavirus cases spike globally.

The companies first entered an undisclosed pact in May, with Samsung tasked with the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and the timelines specified in technology-transfer supplier agreements cut back to three months.

Though Lilly did not name the specific treatments, it is widely expected to focus on the monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555), which was granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA last week following positive phase 2 data suggesting it reduced viral loads, rates of symptoms and hospitalizations.

Previously, Lilly said it expects to manufacture up to 1 million doses of the 700-mg dose of bamlanivimab globally by the end of the year and anticipates supply to increase significantly in the first quarter of 2021.

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