COVID-19: New antibody treatment reduces risk of hospitalisation

A combination of two monoclonal antibody drugs, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, from the United States drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co, reduced the risk of hospitalisation and death by 87% in a study of 769 non-hospitalised coronavirus infected patients with risk factors for developing severe illness.

The results come from a Phase 3 clinical trial of people aged 12 and over with mild-to-moderate symptoms, who were considered high-risk because of their age or underlying conditions.

Among them, 511 received the combination treatment, which is authorized for emergency use in the US, and 258 received a placebo.

There were four hospitalisations and no deaths in the treatment group, while four people died in the placebo group and 11 were hospitalised.

This represented a statistically significant risk reduction of 87 percent.

The coronavirus has killed more than 2.6M people and infected over 118M worldwide.