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INDIANAPOLIS–Eli Lilly says its new antibody cocktail could greatly reduce hospitalizations and deaths for high-risk COVID-19 patients.

Their new drug bamlanivimab when combined with the drug etesevimab was found to be extremely effective in high-risk COVID patients. Both drugs are monoclonal antibodies, which mimic natural antibodies the immune system uses to fight the coronavirus.

In a late-stage study that included more than 500 COVID-19 patients, Eli Lilly representatives said the antibody cocktail was 70% effective. None of the patients who got the cocktail died.

“Notably, the 70 percent decrease in risk of hospitalizations or death seen in this Phase 3 trial of bamlanivimab and etesevimab together is consistent with the reduction in risk of hospitalization or ER visits seen with bamlanivimab alone in the Phase 2 trial. Bamlanivimab alone is authorized for emergency use as a treatment for high-risk patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 in the U.S. and widely available for use,” said Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., Lilly’s chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.

Skovronsky said the single drug and the cocktail performed equally well but the company is going to switch to making the combination once it receives FDA authorization.

Skovronsky also believes these treatments will be able to treat new variants of coronavirus that come up as the virus evolves.