Eli Lilly gets EUA for new antibody 'cocktail', which may cut deaths by 70%
Eli Lilly has clinched Emergency Use Approval in the US for an antibody treatment 'cocktail' that may reduce the risk of hospitalisation and death in high-risk patients by as much as 70%.
It is hoped that the treatment may also be more effective at fighting off the new strains of the novel coronavirus detected in Brazil and South Africa, but must be administered quickly following an infection or within 10 days after symptoms first appear.
"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," Lilly's Chief Scientific Officer, Dan Skovronsky, said.
The cocktail combines a 700 milligram dose of bamlanivimab, which was developed by Lilly in conjunction with Canada's Abcellera, with a 1,400mg dose of etesevimab, another antibody treatment developed in the People's Republic of China.
Thanks to help from biotechnology giant Amgen, Eli Lilly hopes to have as many as 1m doses of the cocktail available by mid-2021.
About 100,000 doses of etesevimab had already been manufactured and a further 150,000 doses were expected to be available in the first quarter.
Nevertheless, rollout of antibody treatment, from Lilly as well as others, had been hampered by the lack of reliable clinical trial data until just recently.
America's Food and Drug Administration granted the EUA for the treatment in adults who had tested positive for Covid as well as for children over the age 12 and at high risk of developing a severe illness.