US halts distribution of Lilly's Covid antibody treatment

March 25, 2021

Report: HHS stops shipping of the solo therapy due to variant impact

The US government will no longer distribute Eli Lilly and Company’s Covid-19 antibody therapy, bamlanivimab, due to the effect that rapidly spreading coronavirus variants have on the drug’s efficacy, Reuters reports.

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said yesterday that it has stopped distributing the therapy, as a result of a sustained increase in SARS-CoV-2 viral variants in the country that are resistant to bamlanivimab when administered alone.

“We recognize the US government has made the decision to no longer allow direct ordering of bamlanivimab alone, due to concerns about the prevalence of the California B.1.427/B.1.429 and New York B.1.526 variants of SARS-CoV-2,” Lilly noted in an email to Reuters.

However, all treatment delivery sites will still be able to order Lilly’s combination therapy of two antibodies, bamlanivimab and etesevimab, and a two-antibody cocktail developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, FDA said, according to the report.