Eli Lilly antibody treatment shows progress in those at high-risk


INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment reduces the risk of contracting COVID-19, according to the results of a new trial.

The data shows in long-term care facilities, the risk dropped by 80% with the treatment. 

During an eight-week nursing home trial, Eli Lilly examined how the antibody ‘bamlanivimab’ could prevent COVID-19 infection or decrease the severity. 

“What we found particularly in the nursing home residents there’s up to an 80% reduction in infections. And in-fact, we had no deaths of residents that were on bamlanivimab.” said Eli Lilly COVID-19 Therapeutics Platform Leader Janelle Sabo.

That’s out of more than 1,000 participants. 1,000 Hoosiers have already received the infusion.

“It’s a treatment for COVID-19 and has shown very good results. So, we’re very hopeful,” said Zach Cattell with the Indiana Healthcare Association.

The FDA first gave Eli Lilly temporary authorization to try the treatment in November. The single infusion is given as soon as you test positive to clear the virus. 

Sabo further explained the antibody treatment is different from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

“The difference is really in terms of whether or not the human body is producing that, which is the vaccine, it’s teaching your body to do it, or the neutralizing antibody, which is essentially giving you the antibody, which can help clear the virus,” said Sabo.

Now the goal is to make this antibody treatment more widely available in nursing homes by getting emergency use authorization. 

“We plan to talk to regulator very quickly and plan in to file in the coming weeks for a EUA,” said Sabo.

The Indiana Healthcare Association says this is just an extra tool in the fight against COVID-19.

“We’re very hopeful that this plus vaccines, other vaccines, or other treatments to come all will be helping in preventing any further suffering or more suffering from this particular virus,” said Cattell.

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