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Photo: Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The FDA announced Tuesday it has issued an emergency use authorization for a new combination antibody drug from Eli Lilly that can treat mild to moderate COVID-19.

Why it matters: The treatment contains bamlanivimab and etesevimab which, administered together, can reduce the risk of hospitalizations and death by 70%, per an FDA statement. It can be used on patients at high risk of developing severe illnesses.

  • With the risk of resistance emerging as new virus strains arise, "bamlanivimab and etesevimab together could potentially allow efficacy against a broader range of naturally occurring" variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, said Lilly chief scientific officer Daniel Skovronsky in a statement.

For the record: In November, the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for Lilly's antibody therapy bamlanivimab to treat mild to moderate coronavirus cases.

  • Skovronsky, who's also president of Lilly Research Laboratories, said in Tuesday's statement that bamlanivimab "alone under emergency use authorization has already provided many people with an early treatment option that could prevent hospitalizations."

By the numbers: Lilly has in the first quarter of 2021 manufactured more than 250,000 doses of the combination treatment, which is given via a single intravenous infusion.

  • The company plans to produce up to 1 million more by the middle of the year, per Lilly's statement.

Go deeper

Feb 9, 2021 - Health

J&J CEO: Annual COVID-19 vaccine shots may be necessary for a few years

Alex Gorsky. Photo: Lucas Jackson/Reuters/Bloomberg via Getty Images

People might need the coronavirus vaccine annually in years to come, much like the seasonal flu shot, Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC on Tuesday.

What he's saying: "Unfortunately, as [the virus] spreads it can also mutate," Gorsky said at an event. "Every time it mutates, it’s almost like another click of the dial so to speak where we can see another variant, another mutation that can have an impact on its ability to fend of antibodies or to have a different kind of response not only to a therapeutic but also to a vaccine."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
46 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Mounting emissions data paints bleak picture on Paris climate goals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Researchers keep finding new ways to reveal that nations are together showing very few signs of getting on track to meet the Paris Agreement's goals.

One big question: That's whether a spate of recent analyses to that effect, and scientific reports coming later this year, will move the needle on meaningful new policies (not just targets).