Bamlanivimab: Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Presents Special Difficulties in Administration

Bamlanivimab Monoclonal Antibody Treatment Presents Special Difficulties in Administration

The medical and research establishments certainly have given their best during this pandemic. Eli Lilly is no exception, having marshalled thousands of scientists, research professionals, and clinical trial teams to develop and test novel drugs with the aim of treating a totally new and deadly virus. Recently, one of company’s breakthrough investigational monoclonal antibody therapies, first known as LY-CoV555 and now “Bamlanivimab,” was made available as a COVID-19 treatment under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), per the NEJM’s Journal Watch Blog. The only acceptable use at this time involves outpatients currently deemed a high risk for severe disease progression and/or hospitalization. Much like remdesivir, the first approved therapy—controversially many may add—this emergency use treatment fails the ease-of-administration test. In the case of Bamlanivimab, it’s not only difficult to pronounce the investigational product’s name, but also even more challenging to actually administer it to patients. The federal government has paid Lilly $3.75 billion for investigational product costs (deal done at $12,500 per treatment, for 300,000 in initial shipment) on the taxpayers’ “dime...

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