The company Eli Lilly said Wednesday that its monoclonal antibody cocktail slashed COVID-19 hospitalizations by 70% for high-risk patients.
What’s going on?
Eli Lilly released results of a late-stage study on Tuesday, showing that its cocktail — named bamlanivimab — combined with the monoclonal antibody called etesevimab can cut hospitalizations for high-risk COVID-19 patients.
- Per USA Today, the drug “mimics one of the natural antibodies the immune system uses to fight off the virus.”
The study said 10% of patients who receive a placebo went to the hospital. Meanwhile 2% of those who received the full cocktail had to go the hospital, according to USA Today. That’s a 70% drop.
- The patients involved in the study were diagnosed with COVID-19 four days before they were treated with the drug, according to USA Today.
- None of the 518 patients who received the cocktail died from COVID-19. Eight people who took the placebo did die.
The drug is FDA approved
Back in November, U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorization for the monoclonal antibody therapy.
The treatment was the first to be authorized for treating COVID-19.
- “Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses. Bamlanivimab is a monoclonal antibody that is specifically directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, designed to block the virus’ attachment and entry into human cells,” the FDA said in a statement.
- “The FDA’s emergency authorization of bamlanivimab provides health care professionals on the frontline of this pandemic with another potential tool in treating COVID-19 patients,” Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, then acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the statement. “We will continue to evaluate new data on the safety and efficacy of bamlanivimab as they become available.”