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22 June, 2024
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Covid therapies, not just vaccines

EC Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides


The Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, will be in Cyprus on Friday, September 24, for meetings, as well as a visit to the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING).

Ms. Kyriakides will have a meeting with the Minister of Health Michalis Hatzipandelas, while afterwards they will visit the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING).

The Commissioner's meetings are expected to focus on the latest developments in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic situation and the national vaccination campaign in Cyprus, as well as progress on the proposals within the European Health Union.

Commissioner Kyriakides will also present the work of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics in the diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with neurological and genetic conditions, as well as the work of the institute for the sequencing of COVID-19.

It is worth noting that on Tuesday, Commissioner Kyriakides announced the signing of a joint contract - supply framework with the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly for the supply of monoclonal antibody therapy for patients with coronavirus.

This marks the latest development in this first portfolio of five promising remedies announced by the Commission under the EU COVID-19 Therapy Strategy in June 2021.

The drug is currently under review by the European Medicines Agency.

Eighteen Member States have signed the joint contract to purchase up to 220,000 treatments.

In a statement, Mrs. Kyriakides said, "over 73% of the EU adult population is now fully vaccinated and this percentage will continue to rise".

But vaccines, she continued, "may not be our only response to COVID-19. "People are still getting infected and sick."

"We must continue our work to prevent diseases with vaccines and at the same time ensure that we can treat it with therapies.”

We must continue our work to prevent diseases with vaccines and at the same time ensure that we can treat it with therapies. -Kyriakides

"With today's signing, we are completing our third procurement and implementing our commitment under the EU Therapeutic Strategy to facilitate access to state-of-the-art drugs for patients with COVID-19," she concluded.

While vaccination remains the strongest advantage against both the virus and its mutations, therapies play a critical role in the COVID-19 response. They help save lives, speed up recovery time, reduce length of stay and ultimately reduce the burden on healthcare systems.

Eli Lilly's product is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (bamlanivimab and etesevimab) for the treatment of coronavirus patients who do not need oxygen but are at high risk for severe COVID-19 disease.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the ability of the immune system to fight the coronavirus. They bind to the protein spike and thus prevent the virus from attaching to human cells.

Under the joint procurement contract concluded with Eli Lilly, Member States can purchase the combined product bamlanivimab and etesevimab if and when needed, after obtaining either an EU conditional marketing authorization from the European Medicines Agency or an emergency Member State concerned.

Cyprus  |  Kyriakides  |  EC  |  Health  |  vaccines  |  COVID  |  therapy

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