COVID-19 monoclonal antibodies, rapid tests in high demand


In the past month, the US government has invested billions of dollars into the pandemic.

Think $2.7 billion toward vaccine manufacturing, which is part of the $65 billion decade-long proposal the Biden administration created to prepare for future pandemics. Or consider the $2 billion it paid for more COVID-19 rapid tests, or the roughly $3 billion worth of monoclonal antibodies it bought in mid-September on top of prior purchases.

As the pandemic has shown, though, increased financial support doesn’t mean manufacturing lines can suddenly produce a greater volume. That’s why the general public and healthcare workers are dealing with high demand for both monoclonal antibody treatments and COVID-19 rapid tests, and the federal government is carefully distributing some treatments to states.

‘Proactive’ allocations

The US Food and Drug Administration gave its first COVID monoclonal antibody emergency use authorization (EUA) in November 2020 (Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab, since updated to be used in combination with etesivimab). Since then, the FDA granted EUAs for Regeneron’s casirivimab and imdevimab (REGEN-COV), and GlaskoSmithKline’s sotrovimab, with AstraZeneca filing yesterday for an EUA for its monoclonal antibody combo of tixagevimab and cilgavimab (AZD7442).



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