Artist's impression of virus cells within the human body

NHS England issues £755m framework for monoclonal antibodies

With a view to establishing a pharmaceutical medicines framework for monoclonal antibodies – a type of antibody treatment – NHS England has published a new £755m contract notice, with suppliers invited to bid.

Primarily based out the Midlands and East, the NHS England framework has four lots covering the supply of a number of key pharmaceutical products, including annual tranche, cytokine modulators, other monoclonal antibodies interleukin inhibitors, JAK inhibitors and medicines for migraine and asthma.

Alongside the primary lots supplying these branded medicines in the Midlands and East, there are also smaller lots listed on the contract notice to supply into pan-London regions and the South of England.

The one-year framework, with includes an optional extension of up to 24 months, is intended to launch in March 2021.

Monoclonal antibodies are potent, laboratory-made antibodies and have surfaced in the general media recently as a potential Covid-19 treatment, with the United States President Donald Trump having reportedly received treatment using them during his stay in hospital with the virus.

Significant funding for potential monoclonal antibody treatments have since been made available by health authorities in the United States.

In the UK, meanwhile, the first trials of monoclonal antibodies to help treat Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals were announced in mid-September, with the first treatments intended to begin in the coming weeks.

Those trials in UK hospitals will form part of the UK Recovery Trial.

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The integration of new technology, such as using virtual outpatient appointments instead of face-to-face reviews of patients in the hospital. Adapting the ways in which our NHS workers serve people has been critical in continuing to provide high-quality treatment, a positive patient experience and preventing Covid-19 transmission during the pandemic. Our healthcare sector has the potential to transform the way we continue to provide essential services while also improving patient care. But how easy is the integration of these innovations into routine NHS practice?

On the 28th of October, at the NHE365 Virtual Hospitals & Technology Enabled Care online event, we will be discussing patient flow and experience, reducing waiting times, reducing the patient backlog and increasing technology adoption. Will you be attending? 

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