Germany will be the first country in the European Union to use the same experimental antibody treatment that helped Donald Trump recover from Covid-19, as Minister of Health Jens Spahn said on Sunday.
“ The government has bought 200,000 doses for 400 million euros,” said Spahn to the newspaper Bild am Sonntag, which amounts to EUR 2000 per dose.
The cocktails with so-called monoclonal antibodies will be deployed in university hospitals in the coming week, he said, adding that Germany is “the first country in the EU” to use it in the fight against coronapandemic.
Spahn did not mention the name of the manufacturer that will supply the drugs, but confirmed that it is the same drug that was given to the then US President Trump when he was hit by Covid-19 in October last year.
“They work as a passive vaccination. The administration of these antibodies at an early stage can help patients at risk prevent a more serious disease course,” said Spahn.
Trump, who was briefly in hospital last autumn with the coronavirus, received antibody therapy developed by the American company Regeneron, known as REGN-COV2, before the treatment was legally approved. He later said that the drug had done “fantastic work”. The American company Eli Lilly has developed a similar therapy.
At the time of growing frustration in the EU, the German order comes about a slower than expected roll-out of vaccines. Vaccine producers PFIZER/BionTech and AstraZeneca both said that they will deliver fewer doses to Europe in the short term than expected due to production problems.
Nevertheless, the German Government expects to be able to give all Germans a vaccine by the end of August.