The US Government is to purchase additional doses of Eli Lilly’s neutralising antibody therapies authorised for emergency use to treat Covid-19.

Under the deal, Lilly will deliver 388,000 doses of etesevimab to complement doses of bamlanivimab already purchased by the US Government.

In February, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) to Lilly’s 700mg bamlanivimab and 1400mg etesevimab combination for Covid-19.

Developed in collaboration between Lilly and AbCellera, bamlanivimab is a recombinant, neutralising human IgG1 monoclonal antibody directed against SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, while etesevimab is a recombinant fully human monoclonal neutralising antibody.

The antibodies are together intended to treat mild to moderate Covid-19 in adults and paediatric Covid-19 patients aged 12 years, who are at increased risk for disease progression, including hospitalisation or death.

Nearly 200,000 doses of etesevimab are anticipated to be shipped in the third quarter of this year while the rest will be supplied in the fourth quarter.

The deal is estimated to generate nearly $330m in revenue in the second half of this year, Lilly noted.

Lilly chief scientific and medical officer and Lilly Research Laboratories president Daniel Skovronsky said: “The recent increase in Covid-19 cases has caused a substantial rise in the utilisation of monoclonal antibody drugs, particularly in areas of the country with low vaccination rates.

“Lilly developed bamlanivimab and etesevimab for administration together, in anticipation of variants such as the highly contagious Delta variant, which currently accounts for more than 98% of all identified Covid-19 cases in the US.”

The Bamlanivimab and etesevimab combination was found to retain neutralisation activity against the Alpha and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2 in pseudovirus and authentic virus studies.

The US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) funded the government’s latest purchase of etesevimab.

Earlier this month, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), alongside the FDA, restarted the shipment and supply of bamlanivimab and etesevimab to be used together.