The combination by US pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly of two synthetic antibodies reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths by 70% in high-risk patients with recent positive tests, the company said Tuesday.
“Bamlanivimab and etesevimab together have the potential to be an important treatment that significantly reduces hospitalizations and death in high-risk COVID-19 patients,” said Lilly Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Skovronsky.
The results were obtained from a phase 3 trial involving 1,035 people.
The treatment also reduced the patients’ viral load and the time to recover from the disease.
The patients were assigned a placebo or the combination of 2.8 grams of each of the two antibodies.
There were 11 deaths or hospitalizations among the patients who received the treatment, 2.1% of that group.
In the placebo, there were 36 deaths or hospitalizations, 7% of the group.
Therefore, the therapy represented a risk reduction of 70%. The result was statistically significant, which means that it is unlikely that it was recorded by chance.
There were 10 deaths in total, all among the patients taking placebo and none in the therapy group.
The company said it will continue to study the drug in another trial to examine whether lower doses would produce the same impact.
Monoclonal antibodies are versions of the body’s natural defenses made in the laboratory to fight infection.
ia / wat / llu / dga