U.S. OKS EMERGENCY USE OF COVID ANTIBODY DRUG
US health officials have allowed emergency use of the first antibody drug to help the immune system fight COVID-19, an experimental approach against the virus that has killed more than 238,000 Americans, Matthew Perrone reported for the Associated Press (AP).
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cleared the experimental drug from Eli Lilly for people 12 and older with mild or moderate COVID-19 not requiring hospitalization. It’s a one-time treatment given through an IV.
The therapy is still undergoing additional testing to establish its safety and effectiveness. It is similar to a treatment President Donald Trump received after contracting the virus last month.
Lilly’s studies of the antibody drug are continuing. Early results suggest it may help clear the coronavirus sooner and possibly cut hospitalizations in people with mild to moderate COVID-19. A study of it in hospitalized patients was stopped when independent monitors saw the drug did not seem to be helping in that situation. The government previously reached an agreement to buy and supply much of the early production of Lilly’s drug. One other treatment has an emergency use designation now — convalescent plasma, or the blood of COVID-19 survivors. No large study has shown it to be more effective than usual care alone, however.