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Eli Lilly says 2 drugs lower death rate among high-risk COVID-19 patients

A masked healthcare worker is seen walking inside Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on December 7, 2020. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A masked healthcare worker is seen walking inside Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City on December 7, 2020. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Drugmaker Eli Lilly says it has an antibody cocktail that has proven to reduce hospitalizations and deaths for high-risk patients with COVID-19, by as much as 70%.

The two-drug regimen of bamlanivimab and etesevimab, the company said, uses monoclonal antibodies and a late-stage study showed the combination to be "extremely effective."

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"These exciting results, which replicate positive Phase 2 data in a much larger set of patients, add valuable clinical evidence about the role neutralizing antibodies can play in fighting this pandemic," Eli Lilly President Dr. Daniel Skovronsky said in a statement.

Skovronsky said the company's third-stage study verified earlier results about the drugs' effectiveness with high-risk coronavirus patients.

"The death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise around the world and hospitalizations, particularly in the United States," he added.

"These data further support our belief that bamlanivimab and etesevimab together have the potential to be an important treatment that significantly reduces hospitalizations and death in high-risk COVID-19 patients."

The drugs, however, must be administered in the early stages of COVID-19 and must be infused into the body like chemotherapy treatment, rather than a vaccination shot.

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Former President Donald Trump, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and attorney Rudy Giuliani were all given monoclonal antibodies when they were treated for COVID-19.

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