UnitedHealth, Eli Lilly partner on trial for at-home COVID-19 antibody infusions


UnitedHealth Group is working with Eli Lilly on a clinical trial that will study at-home infusions of the drugmaker's COVID-19 antibody treatment.

Eli Lilly's antibody drug, bamlanivimab, has received emergency use authorization from the FDA. The trial with UnitedHealth, announced Dec. 4, will focus on treating Medicare Advantage patients who test positive for COVID-19 and have mild to moderate symptoms that are at risk of progressing into severe complications or hospitalization.

The companies expect to enroll up to 500,000 people in the trial, with at least 5,000 receiving bamlanivimab. The antibody infusion takes about 15 minutes and is administered in the home. A nurse will stay to monitor the patient on site for an hour, and the patient has a care team that will monitor them. 

UnitedHealth will also use a symptom-checking application called ProtectWell that asks patients to complete a daily questionnaire. UnitedHealth will track information on how long patients' symptoms last and how the infusion affects them.

This is the second company Eli Lilly announced a partnership with during the first week of December for its antibody drug. On Dec. 2, CVS Health said it partnered with HHS to administer bamlanivimab to high-risk patients at home and in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. 

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