Medicine Company to Deploy RV Research Labs

A picture of the Eli Lilly and Co. logo

Eli Lilly and Co. will deploy RV units as mobile research labs in a pragmatic study of its “bamlanivimab” medicine in New Mexico-based Covid patients.

Bamlanivimab recently received Emergency Use Authorization by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat mild to moderate Covid patients who are at risk of severe symptoms and/or hospitalization.

“In addition to gathering treatment and safety data, Lilly will use this study to explore the delivery of bamlanivimab in a variety of innovative infusion settings, which could help inform best practices and ultimately replication by institutions around the country,” stated Daniel Skovronsky, president and chief scientific officer of Lilly Research Laboratories.

In an earlier study conducted in August, Lilly contacted Forest River’s Coachmen RV with an idea to transform vehicles into mobile healthcare units. Coachmen called dealerships across the country, Lilly stated, who got vehicles delivered to Indianapolis within days.

Once the RVs were received, Lilly partnered with Poynter Sheet Metal to customize the vehicles into “clinical research units on wheels.” Poynter removed the RV’s traditional interior, including the cabinets, dining table, beds and storage. Unique storage solutions for equipment and laboratory space then were installed, Lilly stated, including room for clinical trial material preparation and custom-controlled temperature storage and monitoring.

The same units will be used in Lilly’s new study, conducted in New Mexico to allow drug safety data collection in a real-world setting with a diverse population in rural and urban environments, the company stated.

“These units include a custom retrofitted RV solution to support mobile labs and clinical trial material preparation, along with a support vehicle to deliver all clinical trial supplies needed to create an on-site infusion clinic for patients who may otherwise not be able to participate in a clinical study due to lack of access,” Lilly stated.

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