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Lilly: Antibody drug can prevent COVID-19 illness in nursing homes

Lilly Antibody Drug
Posted at 10:56 AM, Jan 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-21 10:56:57-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Thursday its COVID-19 antibody drug can prevent illness in residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care locations.

It’s the first major study to show that it may prevent disease.

Residents and staff who got the drug known as bamlanivimab had up to a 57% lower risk of getting COVID-19 compared to others at the same facility who got a placebo, the drugmaker said. Among nursing home residents only, the risk was reduced by up to 80%.

The study involved more than 1,000 residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care locations. The research was conducted with the National Institutes of Health. Results were released in a press release and the company said it would publish results in a journal soon.

The Food and Drug Administration in November allowed emergency use of Lilly antibody drug as a treatment for mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 that do not require hospitalization. It’s a one-time treatment given through an IV.

Lilly said it will seek expansion of that authorization to include using the drug to prevent and treat COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.

The pandemic has devastated nursing homes and other long-term care locations.