File Photo – Eli Lilly and Company’s Corporate Center | Photo via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

A new monoclonal antibody treatment designed to keep people diagnosed with COVID-19 out of the hospital is beginning to be distributed in Illinois, health officials said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization on February 11 for a new monoclonal antibody called bebtelovimab.

Bebtelovimab will join another monoclonal antibody treatment, sotrovimab, two oral antivirals, Paxlovid and molnupiravir, and a preventive drug, Evusheld, in the list of COVID-19 treatments available across Illinois.

“This newest COVID-19 treatment authorized by the FDA will continue to move us forward as we co-exist with COVID-19,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike.

“While vaccination and boosting are still the best protection against severe illness due to COVID-19, this new treatment, along with other previously authorized treatments, can help keep people out of the hospital,” Ezike said.

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Bebtelovimab is authorized to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and certain pediatric patients who are at high risk for severe COVID-19, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) said.

Bebtelovimab is administered as an intravenous injection, IDPH said.

IDPH also said that equitable distribution is a “priority for IDPH and has been throughout the pandemic – from testing, to vaccinations, to treatments.”

Those who test positive for COVID-19 are recommended to talk to their health care provider immediately to see if they are eligible for one of the treatments.