Eli Lilly says 2-drug combo 87% effective in reducing severe COVID-19, death

Paramedics care for a coronavirus patient at Martin Luther King Hospital in Los Angeles, Calif., on January 27. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

March 11 (UPI) — Pharma company Eli Lilly said Wednesday that a late-stage study shows that a two-drug antibody cocktail treatment significantly reduces coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk patients.

The company said bamlanivimab and etesevimab, when taken together, greatly helped COVID-19 patients in the double-blind study.

The third-stage study, which included nearly 800 high-risk patients over the age of 12, found the treatment was 87% effective in reducing risk.

The study is Lilly’s second large, late-stage assessment of the drugs that showed they are effective at treating mild and moderate cases of COVID-19. The results of the first study, published in January, showed the drugs reduced coronavirus-related hospitalization by 70%.

Eli Lilly said during both studies, there were no deaths among patients who received the drugs.

“These positive results reinforce our previous findings and support the authorized dose of bamlanivimab 700 mg with etesevimab 1400 mg,” Eli Lilly Chief Scientific Office Dr. Daniel Skovronsky said in a statement.

“The consistent results observed in multiple cohorts of this trial over several months, even as new strains of COVID-19 have emerged, indicate [the treatment] maintains its effects against a range of variants, particularly those circulating in the U.S.”

U.S. officials agreed last month to buy at least 100,000 doses of the bamlanivimab and etesevimab combo.


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