FDA authorizes Eli Lilly’s Covid-19 antibody treatment for emergency use


The monoclonal antibody treatment is similar to the one President Donald Trump received, but it is meant for patients with mild to moderate forms of Covid-19.

The Food and Drug Administration has granted an emergency use authorization for Eli Lilly’s Covid-19 monoclonal antibody treatment, called bamlanivimab.

The FDA action specifies that the therapy is meant for adults and children over age 12 with mild to moderate illness but who have high risks of getting much worse and needing hospitalization. That includes people with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, sickle cell disease, chronic kidney disease or obesity, or anyone over age 65.

Eli Lilly applied for emergency use authorization in early October after the company said research suggested that the therapy could help keep Covid-19 patients from progressing to where they would need to be hospitalized.

The FDA said the decision was based on interim analysis from a phase 2 clinical trial in 465 adults with mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms. The research suggested that the drug was no better than a placebo in helping patients clear the virus from their bodies; however, it did reduce the likelihood that patients would later need to be hospitalized.

Eli Lilly has already begun manufacturing the drug, and it said it could have as many as 1 million doses available by the end of the year.

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