The European Union (EU) has secured about 55,000 doses of a potential treatment for Covid-19 based on a cocktail of monoclonal antibodies developed by the US pharmaceutical company Regeneron and the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche, an EU spokesman said.
The agreement is the first contract concluded by the EU for this type of medicine.
Following the billions of patents of Covid-19 vaccines it has secured, the EU is now trying to build a portfolio of drugs that can be effective against the disease, aiming to identify 10 promising cures by the end of the month.
The agreement with Roche was reached in April, the company told Reuters, but the details of the contract have not been made public.
A spokesman for the European Commission said today that the EU had secured around 55,000 doses of single-dose treatment.
Roche declined to comment on the number of installments, but said the contract covered 37 European countries, including Britain and non-EU countries.
The parties declined to disclose the price.
This treatment is the first monoclonal antibody-based treatment provided by the EU.
The only other anti-Covid drug the EU has bought is Gilead Remdesivir, an antiviral drug.
European countries will only buy Roche-Regeneron, which contains the monoclonal antibodies casirivimab and imdevimab, only after it has been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or national drug regulators.
“EU licensing is expected between August and October 2021,” the EU document quoted Roche as saying.