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Lilly's (LLY) Bamlanivimab Lowers COVID-19 Risk in Nursing Homes

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Eli Lilly and Company (LLY - Free Report) announced data from a phase III study, which showed that its COVID-19 antibody drug bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) significantly reduced the risk of contracting symptomatic COVID-19 infection in residents and staff of long-term care facilities in the United States.

Bamlanivimab was granted Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) by the FDA in November for the treatment of patients at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 illness or hospitalization based on data from the BLAZE-1 study.

The phase III BLAZE-2 study is being conducted by Lilly in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the COVID-19 Prevention Network.

Per the company, all participants in the above study received either 4,200 mg of bamlanivimab or placebo. Notably, treatment with bamlanivimab led to a significantly lower frequency of symptomatic COVID-19 infection – the primary endpoint, as compared to placebo arm, once all participants reached eight weeks of follow-up.

Importantly, in the pre-specified subgroup population of nursing home residents, a significantly lower frequency of symptomatic COVID-19 was observed in those who were treated with bamlanivimab versus placebo. It is evident from these results that residents who received bamlanivimab have 80% lower risk of contracting COVID-19 infection versus residents in the same facility who received placebo.

Notably, there were no COVID-19 attributed deaths in the bamlanivimab arm, while four deaths attributed to COVID-19 occurred in the placebo arm among residents in the prevention group.

Results from the BLAZE-2 study, if approved for this, might help in reducing symptoms and may even prevent COVID-19 in this vulnerable patient population.

Shares of Lilly have rallied 43.2% in the past year compared with the industry’s increase of 6.2%.

price chart for LLY

Notably, other than bamlanivimab, the FDA granted EUA to Lilly and Incyte’s (INCY - Free Report) oral JAK inhibitor, Olumiant, for use in combination with Gilead’s (GILD - Free Report) remdesivir in hospitalized COVID-19 patients based on positive phase III results from the ACTT-2 study.

Meanwhile, Regeneron’s (REGN - Free Report) novel investigational antibody cocktail, casirivimab and imdevimab administered together, was also granted EUA by the FDA in November for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in patients who are at high risk of progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization.

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Lilly currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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