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Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The FDA announced on Monday it has issued an emergency use authorization for Eli Lilly's antibody therapy, bamlanivimab, to treat mild to moderate cases of COVID-19.

Why it matters: The treatment is authorized for people "who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19 and/or hospitalization," including people who are 65 and older, and/or people with certain chronic illnesses.

  • "[T]he safety and effectiveness of this investigational therapy continues to be evaluated," the FDA wrote in a news release, but the drug was shown to reduce coronavirus-related hospitalizations or emergency room visits for high-risk patients within 28 days after treatment.
  • It's not authorized for people who are already hospitalized or are receiving oxygen.

What they're saying: “As illustrated by today’s action, the FDA remains committed to expediting the development and availability of potential COVID-19 treatments and providing sick patients timely access to new therapies where appropriate, while at the same time supporting research to further evaluate whether they are safe and effective,” said FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn.

  • Eli Lilly Chairman and CEO David Ricks said in a statement, "This emergency authorization allows us to make bamlanivimab available as a COVID-19 treatment for recently diagnosed, high-risk patients – adding a valuable tool for doctors fighting the now-increasing burden of this global pandemic."
  • Eli Lilly said it would immediately begin shipping bamlanivimab to AmerisourceBergen, which will distribute the drug as directed by the U.S. government's allocation program.

Worth noting: Eli Lilly announced in October that it sold the U.S. government 300,000 vials of bamlanivimab for $375 million, pending the FDA's emergency authorization.

Go deeper: Pfizer says its coronavirus vaccine is more than 90% effective

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Health

WH coronavirus task force: States must "flatten the curve" to sustain health system

A walk-up Covid-19 testing site in San Fernando, California, on Nov. 24, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The White House coronavirus task force warned states "the COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high" and to brace for another surge following Thanksgiving, per a report that emerged Wednesday.

Driving the news: "If you are under 40, you need to assume you became infected during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered beyond your immediate household," said the report, dated Nov. 29, first published by the Center for Public Integrity.

22 hours ago - Health

U.S. exceeds 100,000 COVID-related hospitalizations for the first time

People wait outside the Emergency room of the Garfield Medical Center in Monterey Park, California on Dec 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

More than 100,200 Americans were hospitalized as of Wednesday due to the coronavirus for the first time since the outbreak began in early 2020, per the COVID Tracking Project.

The big picture: The milestone comes as health officials anticipated cases to surge due to holiday travel and gatherings. The impact of the holiday remains notable, as many states across the country are only reporting partial data.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers unveils $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of lawmakers on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.