The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave the nod for a new monoclonal antibody treatment that works against the Omicron variant.
The emergency use authorization for bebtelovimab is for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients at least 12 years of age who are at high risk for severe disease. Eli Lilly and Co. produce the treatment. On Thursday, Lilly announced that the United States would purchase 600,000 doses of the drug in a $720 million deal.
An effective treatment against Omicron
The emergency use authorization comes as good news for people at high risk for severe COVID. The mutations of Omicron had rendered ineffective some of the previously available monoclonal antibody treatments, leaving doctors with fewer treatment options.
“Today’s action makes available another monoclonal antibody that shows activity against Omicron, at a time when we are seeking to further increase supply,” Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement. “This authorization is an important step in meeting the need for more tools to treat patients as new variants of the virus continue to emerge.”