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Lilly, Gates Foundation To Supply Potential COVID-19 Therapy For Low, Middle Income Countries

Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY) announced Thursday an agreement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the supply of potential COVID-19 antibody therapy for low- and middle-income countries.

As part of the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, the deal facilitates access to future Lilly therapeutic antibodies under development for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus.

The COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator is an initiative launched by the Gates Foundation, Wellcome, and Mastercard to speed the development of and access to therapies for COVID-19.

Lilly's collaborators, AbCellera Biologics Inc., Shanghai Junshi Biosciences Co., Ltd. and Columbia University have agreed to waive their royalties on the Lilly therapeutic antibodies distributed in low- and middle-income countries as part of this initiative.

Lilly noted that the therapeutic antibodies have the potential to prevent and treat COVID-19, reducing the burden on healthcare systems.

Commercial manufacturing would commence in April 2021 at the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies facility in Denmark, where the Therapeutics Accelerator reserved manufacturing capacity in an agreement announced in April.

Lilly has already started the manufacturing technology transfer at risk, in anticipation of regulatory authorization for its antibody therapy.

Lilly further said it will make certain volumes of its antibody therapeutic manufactured in other facilities available to lower-income countries prior to April 2021, pending the timing of regulatory authorization. With this, the company expects the supply of COVID-19 therapeutic innovations will be available globally as quickly as possible.

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