Indianapolis Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) is partnering with UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) to conduct a pragmatic study of Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody treatment bamlanivimab.
The companies intend to measure the effectiveness of the treatment on UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members who volunteer for the study and meet the FDA-authorized criteria.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week approved Emergency Use Authorization for the treatment.
“While bamlanivimab is authorized for emergency use based on the efficacy and safety data accumulated to date, larger pragmatic studies in diverse populations can help us further understand the efficacy and safety of SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in real-world settings,” said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief scientific officer.
Lilly says delivering the medication to patients through home infusions allows them to stay quarantined and at home, minimizing the potential spread of COVID-19.
UnitedHealth Group says through its scientific research arm, Optum Labs, the trial will evaluate the efficacy and safety of the treatment versus a propensity-matched control in individuals that meet the EUA criteria.
“Intercepting the disease before it escalates may help to keep people out of the hospital and reduce the overwhelming burden on the healthcare system,” said Ken Ehlert, chief scientific officer, UnitedHealth Group and chief executive officer, OptumLabs.
Lilly says the study will enroll up to 500,000 people, with at least 5,000 people expected to receive bamlanivimab therapy.