What We’re Reading: FDA Clears First Monthly Shot for HIV; Biologic for COVID-19 Shows Promise; Food Aid to Rise

The FDA approved the first injectable monthly treatment for HIV; Eli Lilly announced positive effects of its monoclonal antibody treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19); President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on food insecurity.

FDA Approves First Monthly Injectable HIV Treatment

The FDA approved the first extended-release injectable drug regimen for people living with HIV. The approval for cabotegravir and rilpivirine, to be sold as Cabenuva, replaces a daily oral 3-drug regimen with 1 monthly injection. Janssen makes rilpivirine and ViiV Healthcare makes cabotegravir. The New York Times reported that female patients, in particular, like the once-a-month treatment option.

Eli Lilly Reports Positive Results of Monoclonal Antibody for COVID-19

Eli Lilly announced its monoclonal antibody treatment cut the risk of developing symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) among nursing home residents, USA Today reports. Study results have yet to be published, but according to the company, of 299 individuals—half of whom received bamlanivimab—those who took the drug had up to an 80% lower risk of contracting COVID-19 compared with the placebo arm. Health care providers at the nursing homes also received a 4200-mg dose and were statistically less likely to contract symptomatic COVID-19. Four residents died in the placebo group while there were no deaths among the 41 residents who already tested positive for COVID-19 and received the monoclonal antibody.

Biden to Sign Executive Order Curbing Food Insecurity

President Joe Biden is slated to sign an executive order aimed at increasing food aid to children who normally rely on school meals for nutrition, Reuters reports. Current estimates suggest 29 million Americans don’t have enough to eat as a result of the pandemic. The order is not intended to be a substitute for comprehensive legislative relief but can provide interim support while legislation is negotiated in Congress. As part of the order, the president will ask the Agriculture Department (USDA) to consider using new guidance to increase aid to families. The aid has the potential to provide a family with 3 children more than $100 of additional support every 2 months.