Since the launch of Cathay Pharma last November, Cathay Cargo has carried hundreds of pharmaceutical shipments, ensuring their safe delivery through compliance to temperature requirements and offering special care in monitoring, handling, storage and transport. Among them was a shipment of the antibody that helps prevent and treat COVID-19 to Thailand in early December 2022.
The Long-acting Antibody combination (LAAB), has been granted conditional marketing approval in Thailand for preventing COVID-19 in a broad population, regardless of vaccination status and treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and adolescents.
LAAB is now the only antibody combination authorised for both COVID-19 prevention and treatment in Thailand that will not only help protect against severe symptoms of COVID-19, but also prevent severe disease and death in those who do become infected. While vaccines remain a critically important tool to reduce severe COVID-19 outcomes, some vulnerable populations are unable to develop adequate protection from vaccination alone.
The LAAB shipments originated in Chicago and arrived in Hong Kong onboard two Cathay Cargo freighter flights loaded in active Envirotainer RAP e2 cooltainers. This helped to ensure that the shipment was kept within the specified temperature range of 2-8°C on board. It then consolidated on to Bangkok in the belly hold of a Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 passenger aircraft.
Cathay Cargo Services Manager Jirawit Inyasri in Bangkok worked with colleagues across the network to ensure that shipment was handled with due care on the journey. That included making sure that the hold temperature was set to no more than 20°C on each leg of the flight, and arranging for priority, last on/first off loading. Every detail was considered: from keeping the cooltainers near the door for quick unloading to arranging parking near the Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal to reduce towing times.
‘We also ensured that that on arrival in the new Pharma Handling Centre in Hong Kong that the temperature was correct and that staff recharged the cooltainers for their overnight stay, consolidation and transfer,’ he says. ‘We kept in touch with the forwarder (DHL Global Forwarding (Thailand) Limited) throughout, and the Operation Control Centre in Hong Kong monitored the shipment temperature throughout the journey.’
On arrival in Bangkok, the shipment was immediately towed to a cool room and kept below the required temperature before its delivery to the customer.