Europe’s Medicines Regulator said Friday that Eli Lilly and Co’s antibody drug combination could be used to treat Covid-19 patients who do not need oxygen support and are at risk of serious illness.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the recommendation can now be used as a guideline in individual European countries on the potential use of a combination of bamlanivimab and etesevimab, before broader approval is sought.
The drugs in the cocktail, which are administered by drop, belong to a class of drugs known as monoclonal antibodies, which are synthetically manufactured versions of infection-fighting proteins that are naturally produced by the human body.
The EMA said that while the results indicated that the combination reduced the amount of virus present in the back of the nose and throat, there was some uncertainty about the benefits of using bamlanivimab alone.
However, the regulator did not rule out monotherapy as a possible option.
In terms of safety, most of the reported side effects were mild or moderate; However, infusion-related reactions (including allergic reactions) are likely and should be monitored. “
The results also indicated that the combination of monotherapy resulted in fewer medical visits related to the Coronavirus.
The combination was granted US license for emergency use last month after a late-stage trial showed that the treatments together helped reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in Covid-19 patients by 70%.
EMA’s advice on treating Lilly follows similar guidelines on antibody therapy by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc last month. The European regulator is currently reviewing an anti-Covid-19 drug from Celltrion in South Korea.