Eli Lilly and Company
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DoD Looks to Lilly For COVID-19 Vaccine

Nov. 30, 2020
Along with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense is hoping that Lilly's LY-CoV555 antibody therapeutic will stem the tide of COVID infections in the U.S. military ranks.

As part of Operation Warp Speed and a means of quickly finding effective treatment for the COVID-19 coronavirus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD) have agreed with Eli Lilly and Company to purchase the first doses of the company’s investigational antibody therapeutic bamlanivimab. The doses, also known as LY-CoV555, will be available for patient care if the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes their use.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar explained: “This agreement with Eli Lilly is part of Operation Warp Speed’s efforts to position the federal government to distribute potential therapeutics, allowing faster distribution if trials are successful.” He added: “More good news about COVID-19 therapeutics is constantly emerging, and the Trump Administration’s commitment to supporting potentially lifesaving therapeutics will help deliver these products to American patients without a day’s delay.”

The DoD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense and Army Contracting Command collaborated with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, to provide $375 million to Lilly for 300,000 initial doses of bamlanivimab over the next two years. If the FDA authorizes use of the drug, the federal government will allocate the doses to state and territorial health departments which, in turn, will determine which healthcare facilities receive the intravenous (IV) infusion drug for outpatient care.