Samsung BioLogics has begun mass-producing a COVID-19 treatment developed by an American pharmaceutical company. The South Korean company is serving as a contract manufacturing organization (CMO) for COVID-19 treatments by two global pharmaceutical companies.
“Part of the initial supply of the COVID-19 antibody treatment developed by Eli Lilly (Lilly) was delivered at the end of last month,” Samsung BioLogics announced on Tuesday. The two companies signed a CMO contract related to COVID-19 treatments in May this year.
“We have reduced the duration of essential technology transfer to produce biomedicines to three months, which is about half of the normal period,” said a member of Samsung BioLogics. “As the COVID-19 pandemic prolongs and limits travels, the experts of the two companies communicated closely to accelerate production.”
The antibody treatment LY-Cov555 of Lilly was developed by extracting antibodies from the blood of patients who recovered from COVID-19. Lilly obtained an emergency use authorization as a treatment for minor COVID-19 cases from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on November 9. It is meant to be used by patients who have not been admitted to a hospital but are likely to experience more severe symptoms due to the age – 65 or over and 12 or under – and other reasons. The U.S. government decided at the end of last month to purchase 300,000 doses of Lilly’s antibody treatment.