FILE - This April 26, 2017 file photo shows the Eli Lilly & Co. corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, its COVID-19 antibody drug can prevent illness among residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care locations. It’s the first major study to show that it may prevent disease. The drugmaker said participants who got the drug had up to a 57% lower risk of getting COVID-19. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

FILE - This April 26, 2017 file photo shows the Eli Lilly & Co. corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, its COVID-19 antibody drug can prevent illness among residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care locations. It’s the first major study to show that it may prevent disease. The drugmaker said participants who got the drug had up to a 57% lower risk of getting COVID-19. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Antibody drug can prevent COVID-19 illness in nursing homes: Eli Lilly

Nursing homes and other long-term care locations have been hard hit by the pandemic

Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Thursday its COVID-19 antibody drug can prevent illness in residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care locations.

It’s the first major study to show such a treatment may prevent disease.

Residents and staff who got the drug had up to a 57% lower risk of getting COVID-19 compared to others at the same facility who got a placebo, the drugmaker said. Among nursing home residents only, the risk was reduced by up to 80%.

The drug was approved by Health Canada in November, when the federal government and Eli Lilly also Canada signed an agreement for the company to supply 26,000 doses of the antibody drug, called bamlanivimab, to Canada between December and February.

The U.S. study involved more than 1,000 residents and staff at nursing homes and other long-term care locations. The research was conducted with the National Institutes of Health. Results were released in a press release and the company said it would publish results in a journal soon.

The Food and Drug Administration in November allowed emergency use of Lilly antibody drug as a treatment for mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 that do not require hospitalization. It’s a one-time treatment given through an IV.

Lilly said it will seek expansion of that authorization to include using the drug to prevent and treat COVID-19 in long-term care facilities.

Nursing homes and other long-term care locations have been hard hit by the pandemic. In the United States, they account for less than 1% of the population, but nearly 40% of deaths from COVID-19.

These long-term care locations have been given priority to vaccinate residents and staff with recently authorized COVID-19 vaccines.

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