US purchases more COVID therapy from Eli Lilly and Co.

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The U.S. government is purchasing a minimum of 100,000 doses of a combination antibody therapy created by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 patients.

Lilly says the purchase agreement of $210 million is for a cocktail of bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) and etesevimab (LY-CoV016).

The company says it recently received emergency use authorization for the treatment of recently diagnosed, mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe cases and possible hospitalization.

The agreement gives the government the option to purchase an additional 1.1 million doses through November under the same terms and subject to medical need in the country.

“Every day, thousands of Americans are diagnosed with COVID-19, with many at high risk of progressing to more severe disease. In our clinical trials, Lilly’s neutralizing antibody therapies significantly reduced the risk of hospitalizations and death,” said Lilly Chairman and Chief Executive Officer David Ricks.

Lilly says the National Institutes of Health recently updated the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines to recommend the use of bamlanivimab plus etesevimab for the treatment of outpatients with mild to moderate COVID-19 who are at high risk for the disease to advance.

“The NIH recommendation provides additional guidance to clinicians treating high-risk patients with COVID-19, who now have another treatment option that could keep more people out of the hospital and save lives,” said Ricks.

Lilly says the new purchase is on top of the previous government contract to acquire 1.4 million doses of bamlanivimab alone, of which a million treatments have already been delivered.