INDIANAPOLIS — The U.S. government will purchase 388,000 doses of the COVID treatment drug etesevimab from Eli Lilly and Company. The drug is an antibody therapy that has been authorized for emergency use to treat the virus.
The 388,000 doses of etesevimab will accompany previously purchased doses of bamlanivimab. The deal is estimated to generate $330 million in revenue in the second half of 2021.
Studies researching the use of both drugs — administered together — to treat COVID-19 showed it neutralized virus activity against both the alpha and delta variants.
"Lilly developed bamlanivimab and etesevimab for administration together, in anticipation of variants such as the highly contagious Delta variant, which currently accounts for more than 98 percent of all identified COVID-19 cases in the U.S.," said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly's chief scientific and medial officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.
The FDA granted Eli Lilly emergency use authorization for the two drugs on Aug. 27.
The drugs were authorized to be used in adult patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms. It can also be used in children who are at least 12 years old and weigh at least 40 kilograms (approximately 88 pounds).
The treatment is not authorized to be used in patients with more severe symptoms:
- Those are hospitalized due to COVID-19
- Those who require oxygen therapy due to COVID-19, OR
- Those who require an increase in baseline oxygen flow rate due to COVID-19 in those on chronic oxygen therapy due to underlying non-COVID-19 related comorbidity
Treatment in hospitalized patients has not yet been studied and have adverse outcomes.
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