US Should Build Up Antibody Therapy Supply, Ex-FDA Chief Says - (Bloomberg via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the US should build up reserves of therapeutic antibodies to treat the coronavirus ahead of any potential approval or emergency use authorization, reported Bloomberg.
  • Gottlieb said the government could encourage drug companies to curtail production of less essential medicines to instead focus on producing more antibody treatments now.

  • "We missed the window to do it on remdesivir," he said in regards to Gilead Sciences’ COVID-19 drug. He added that although the US may have enough of the therapy right now, if the pandemic worsens and doctors seek to use remdesivir beyond its current label, particularly in patients with pre-existing conditions, the US won’t have enough medicine. 

  • Several drugmakers are currently testing antibody treatments. Eli Lilly and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals are in the lead of developing neutralizing antibodies that can mimic immune responses to the virus, and may report some results in the third quarter. Eli Lilly is working with AbCellera Biologics, while AstraZeneca and Vir Biotechnology are also testing potential treatments.

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