According to a recent Reuters article, drug giant Eli Lilly and Co. has requested that the FDA de-authorize its COVID-19 antibody, bamlanivimab. The unique request isn’t linked to safety issues, but in response to new variants of the virus that could be resistant to bamlanivimab when used alone. The government agreed, and stopped distribution of the therapy last month. Facilities that still have supply are being shipped etesevimab to pair with it for a combination treatment that’s more effective.
Together, etesevimab and bamlanivimab neutralize more COVID-19 variants than the latter can alone. Lilly noted that it will not seek authorization cancellation in any other countries, but that it prefers for it to be used as cocktail therapy. They have partnered with Amgen to meet global supply needs.