On Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued emergency use authorisation for a new antibody treatment from Eli Lilly that reportedly helps with mild and moderate COVID-19 cases, according to an official statement.
The drug consists of a combination of two neutralising antibodies – bamlanivimab and etesevimab, and is expected to reduce the number of hospitalisations and coronavirus-related deaths by 70 percent. The “cocktail” can be used in adults and children with a SARS-CoV-2 infection that has a high risk of progressing to severe form. The drug is prohibited for patients who are hospitalised or require oxygen therapy.
“With the risk of resistance emerging as various strains of the virus arise, bamlanivimab and etesevimab together could potentially allow efficacy against a broader range of naturally occurring SARS-CoV-2 variants as these new strains spread around the world”, Eli Lilly’s chief scientific officer Daniel Skovronsky told The Hill.
According to results from a phase 3 trial among approximately 1,035 patients, the combination therapy “reduced viral load and accelerated symptom resolution”. Earlier, Eli Lilly received emergency use authorisation for bamlanivimab as the US has the world's highest coronavirus infection rates, according to Johns Hopkins University's data tracking.
As of Tuesday, the total number of infected throughout the country had passed the 27 million mark and over 468,000 coronavirus-related deaths have been registered since the pandemic began.