The Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday that it has granted emergency authorization of Eli Lilly's COVID-19 treatment for use in certain cases.
The treatment is called bamlanivimab, and it has been approved for use in people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, are 12 and older, and at risk for developing a severe form of COVID-19 or being hospitalized, The New York Times reports. This includes people who are 65 or older and obese, as early studies have shown they can benefit the most from this treatment. It should be administered to a person as soon as possible after they test positive, and within 10 days of developing systems.
In a statement, Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks said bamlanivimab was developed quickly because of "collaboration across the industry and the urgent work being done by the government to ensure appropriate allocation to patients who need it the most." Last month, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) received the treatment on an emergency basis after he tested positive for COVID-19.
The treatment consists of one antibody that is designed to block virus attachment and entry into cells, neutralizing it. Eli Lilly said it expects to have enough treatments to distribute to one million people by the end of the year. On Monday, more than 100,000 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States, and at least 59,000 people are hospitalized across the country.
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