News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

New COVID-19 Drug Ships Across Texas This Week And Could Reduce Severest Symptoms For Some

Eli Lilly corporate headquarters in Indianapolis
Darron Cummings/AP
Eli Lilly corporate headquarters in Indianapolis

The monoclonal antibody therapy bamlanivimab is designed to treat high-risk coronavirus infections and has shortened or prevented hospitalizations.

Texas will start distributing a new COVID-19 therapy this week to patients across the state. The therapy is designed to treat mild to moderate coronavirus infections.

It’s called bamlanivimab, from Eli Lilly, and initial shipments of this anti-body drug are expected to reach hospitals across Texas beginning this week. It may not be easy to pronounce, says Chris Van Deusen, with the Department of State Health Services, and it’s not a cure.

“It’s one dose, is the whole treatment course,” Van Deusen said.

“And it’s an infusion, so it’s an out-patient medication. It’s not for people who are in the hospital. Hopefully you want to catch them early, in the course of the disease before it’s very severe. And what it’s been shown to do is prevent hospitalizations in people who are at greater risk of hospitalizations.”

Texas and Illinois are getting the most doses — about 6,000, and 6,300 respectively — and distribution will be based on new, lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19, in communities and in hospitals. It’ll be free.

COVID-19’s been rising steadily in Texas, recording more than 1,000,000 cases and more than 19,000 confirmed deaths since March.