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UPDATE 1-FDA clears use of Lilly's COVID-19 antibody therapy for kids

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(Adds authorization details, FDA comments)

Dec 3 (Reuters) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the use of Eli Lilly's COVID-19 dual-antibody therapy in treating mild to moderate symptoms in all children, including newborns, who are at risk of severe illness.

The therapy, bamlanivimab plus etesevimab, was previously authorized for children aged 12 years and older and weighed at least 88 pounds.

"Children under one year of age, who are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19, may be at particularly high risk for severe COVID-19 and this authorization addresses the medical needs of this vulnerable population," said Patrizia Cavazzoni, director of the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The FDA authorization also allows the administration of the therapy as a preventive measure in children who are exposed to the virus.

The therapy, however, is not a substitute for vaccination, Cavazzoni said. (Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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