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Eli Lilly granted emergency use authorization for COVID-19 antibody therapy

3,000 doses on way to Michigan

DETROIT – There has been some positive news in the search for a coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment.

Eli Lilly has been granted emergency use authorization for its monoclonal antibody therapy. It’s similar to the drug by Regeneron that was used to treat President Donald Trump.

It’s Bamlanivimab. There are 3,000 doses on their way to treat people in Michigan. Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment for COVID-19 has authorization to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients who are not hospitalized but are at high risk. The decision was based on a study of the drug published here.

High risk is defined as having any of the following, obesity, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, immune suppression, or being older than 65 years old. Certain people older than 55 and between 12 and 17 years old are also eligible to receive the drug if they have other specific risk factors.

The New England Journal of Medicine found it could decrease the need for hospitalization in high risk patients from 10 percent in those who received placebo to 3 percent in those who received a single-dose of the drug.

The drug is only considered beneficial if given early in a person’s illness. The drug is an artificially produced antibody that neutralizes the spike protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is given as a single dose through an IV. The most significant potential side effect is an allergic reaction, which can be severe.

Doses of the drug have already been purchased by the U.S. government and will be distributed at no cost to patients. Full approval of the drug will still require significant additional study.

READ: More COVID-19 coverage


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