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Eli Lilly Has an Approved Treatment for COVID-19

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 11/10/2020 - 13:28

The FDA has approved Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment for emergency use on COVID-19 patients during the first stages of the infection. Bamlanivimab is the name of this first approved treatment for COVID-19 patients and its use seeks to prevent patient hospitalization. According to the FDA’s emergency approval, the drug is to be used on patients over 12 years of age. It has shown significantly positive results on people over 65 years of age and people suffering from obesity.

According to the FDA, the treatment s must be administrated right after the person has tested positive for COVID-19 and they must continue the treatment after 10 days of contagion or the development of symptoms.

Unlike other treatments, such as Gilead’s Remdesivir, Bamlanivimab is the first approved treatment exclusively manufactured to treat and combat COVID-19. This treatment joins yesterday’s announcement made by Pfizer, where the company announced a 90 percent effectiveness on their COVID-19 vaccine. Both developments have been qualified as a great step for science, medicine and humanity. Eli Lily’s Chief Scientific Officer told the New York Times that “the company was able create a new drug, manufacture it, test it in clinical trials and get it authorized for use in just seven months.”

Trials proved that the treatment had no clinical benefit on already hospitalized patients. However, reductions in hospitalization were significant, as were improvements in patients that had just been infected.

As treatments keeps advancing, adverse reactions to treatments start to appear. After a severe adverse reaction during clinical trials of Sinovac’s vaccine in Brazil, Anvisa (Brazil’s regulatory agency) suspended the trial. The event happened on Oct, 29, but the suspension and announcement were released today. Anvisa has not made any clarification on the subject nor given further information.

Mexico has several COVID-19 vaccine trials going on and others soon to begin. The country currently hosts CanSino Biologic’s trials, has already signed contracts for Pfizer’s vaccine trials and AstraZeneca/Oxford trials as well. Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard announced that Janssen and Novavax are also joining the companies tackling clinical trials in Mexico. Jassen’s development has been approved by COFEPRIS to begin Phase 3 clinical trials and Novavax is already in process to get the approval. Ebrard also said that the ministry is still looking to bring Moderna’s vaccine trials to Mexico, as well has the Russian vaccine Sputnik V.

About Sputnik V, right after Pfizer’s milestone achievement on the COVID-19 vaccine, the Russian Minister of Health declared that Suptik V has an efficiency of over 90 percent. The data is based on the population’s vaccination results and not on trials, however. "We are responsible for monitoring the efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine among citizens who have received it as part of the mass vaccination program," said Oksana Drapkina, director of a research institute under the Russian Ministry of Health, in a statement. "Based on our observations, (the efficacy) is also more than 90 percent.”

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
The New York Times, EL PAÍS
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst