Thu, 15 Apr 2021

STOCKHOLM, March 3 (Xinhua) -- Swedish doctors have treated their first COVID-19 patient with a novel drug called bamlanivimab, Swedish Television (SVT) News reported on Wednesday.

The dose was delivered to an undisclosed hospital on Friday, where it was used immediately, Maria State, program manager of the National Board of Health and Welfare, told SVT News.

The first regular delivery of bamlanivimab, 200 doses, is expected at the beginning of next week. Further purchases could be made if needed, State said.

"There is limited access to drugs that work against the virus and this provides healthcare with another tool. But we hope that the need for the drug will decrease as vaccinations continue," State told SVT.

Bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody, targets the spike protein of the coronavirus and works by inhibiting the virus from infecting cells.

In November, it was authorized for emergency use in the United States and currently it is under review by the European Medicines Agency.

In February, the Swedish Medical Products Agency issued an emergency authorization for it to be used in COVID-19 patients with underlying conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus.

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