Coronavirus: Swiss Federal government signs contract for the purchase of drugs

Bern, 21.05.2021 - The federal government has signed a contract with Eli Lilly (Suisse) SA to purchase promising drugs to treat coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). They are combinations of monoclonal antibodies. The first deliveries are expected in mid-June 2021.

On the advice of the Swiss National COVID-19 Task Force, the Federal Office of Public Health has signed another contract giving access to doses of monoclonal antibodies for treating COVID-19 in patients with an elevated risk of a severe case. The contract is for 4,300 doses of combinations of Bamlanivimab/Etesevimab developed by Eli Lilly and Company in partnership with AbCellera and Junshi Biosciences. The monetary value of the contract is confidential.

Monoclonal antibodies are antibodies that are cloned in a laboratory and administered intravenously to neutralise the virus. Clinical trials by Eli Lilly and Company demonstrate that these treatments provide effective treatment against severe forms of the disease. The federal government will cover the costs of these treatments until they are reimbursed by compulsory health insurance. The first treatments will be available from mid-June for certain groups of high-risk patients.

These drugs have not yet been authorised, but on the basis of COVID-19 Ordinance 3 can already be used to treat COVID-19 patients while the authorisation process is ongoing.

This is the second contract signed by the federal government for the acquisition of monoclonal antibodies following a first contract with Roche Pharma (Switzerland) Ltd last April.

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