The United States has signed a $1.9 billion deal with pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co to receive nearly one million doses of a potential COVID-19 antibody treatment, news agency Reuters reported on Wednesday. The drug is similar to the one that president Donald Trump had received after he tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, Reuters said.
Lilly is being paid $375 million for delivering 300,000 doses of the experimental drug, within two months of getting an emergency use auhtorisation from the country’s health regulator, Reuters quoted the company as saying.
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The US Department of Health and Sciences said in a statement that after receiving the initial lot, the government will decide upon buying an additional 650,000 vials for $812.5 million.
While each vial costs $1,250 as per the contract, US citizens will receive free doses of the drug purchased by the government, the Reuters report says.
Under the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed programme, the US had earlier signed deals with AstraZeneca and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals for their COVID-19 antibody treatments.