Lilly begins COVID-19 antibody treatment clinical trials

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

June 1, 2020 -- Eli Lilly announced that the first patients have been dosed with its lead COVID-19 antibody treatment candidate, LY-CoV555, according to the firm. The drug is a potent, neutralizing IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.

Lilly scientists developed the investigational medicine within three months and in collaboration with AbCellera. A partnership between AbCellera and the Vaccine Research Center at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases identified the antibody from blood samples taken from patients who recovered from COVID-19.

Now, patients are being dosed as part of J2W-MC-PYAA, a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind phase I trial at medical centers in the U.S. including New York University Grossman School of Medicine and Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles. After reviewing the results of the phase I study, Lilly plans to initiate broader efficacy trials and concurrently ramp up large scale manufacturing production.

The company plans to study the drug as a preventive measure, focusing on patient populations who are not optimal candidates for vaccines.

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