Lilly, UHG become research bedfellows

MHE Publication, MHE January 2021, Volume 31, Issue 1

Eli Lilly and UnitedHealth Group announced early last month that they are teaming up to conduct a “pragmatic” study of Lilly’s bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody developed as a treatment for COVID-19.

Eli Lilly and UnitedHealth Group announced early last month that they are teaming up to conduct a “pragmatic” study of Lilly’s bamlanivimab, a monoclonal antibody developed as a treatment for COVID-19. The FDA’s emergency use authorization of bamlanivimab limits it use to patients who have not been hospitalized.

UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members will be invited to participate. Study volunteers will use a symptom-checker app developed by Optum, which is part of UnitedHealth. If they experience symptoms, they will take a self-
administered test for SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. An Optum Infusion Pharmacy nurse will oversee at-home infusions of bamlanivimab. Many non-COVID-19 patients getting treated at infusion centers are immunocompromised, so home infusion of this treatment might very well have some safety advantages. The primary outcome measure is hospitalizations in the 28-day period after the drug is infused.

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