Eli Lilly starts human study of potential COVID-19 treatment

DR Congo's coronavirus front man Virologist Jean Jacques Muyembe receives an Ebola vaccine late last year

DR Congo's coronavirus front man Virologist Jean Jacques Muyembe receives an Ebola vaccine late last year

Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. said Monday that it will begin early-stage human trials on a potential antibody treatment for the coronavirus pandemic.

"What we're doing here is taking patients with Covid, offering the opportunity to participate in a new treatment, hopefully to help them recover more quickly and uneventfully from their infection", said Dr. Mark J. Mulligan, director of the infectious-disease and vaccine-research units at NYU Langone Health, according to the newspaper. The experimental drug was developed from a blood sample of one of America's first COVID-19 patients.

AbCellera and Lilly announced in April a partnership to develop a new drug for the treatment and prevention of the COVID-19 virus, with Lilly tapping the Vancouver biotech's platform to zero in on antibodies generated in a natural immune response to the coronavirus.

"We are privileged to help usher in this new era of drug development with the first potential new medicine specifically created to attack the virus".

"We are grateful to collaborate with colleagues at AbCellera, NIAID, and the many academic institutions who have helped us reach this milestone in humanity's fight against COVID-19 - a disease first characterized only six months ago".

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The company said it expects to move into the next phase of testing, studying the potential treatment in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients, if the drug is shown to be safe.

Rival Regeneron Pharmacuticals Inc has said it plans to start clinical studies in June to test its antibody cocktail treatment for the new coronavirus and is aiming to have hundreds of thousands of preventative doses available by the end of August. "That's a capability we have, so the opportunity to work on antibodies against Covid-19 made total sense".

About the LY-CoV555 Phase 1 Trial Study J2W-MC-PYAA is a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase 1 trial that aims to investigate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics (PK), and pharmacodynamics (PD) of LY-CoV555 following a single dose administered to participants hospitalized for COVID-19.

Eli Lilly wants to study how its medicine can be used to treat people to avoid the need of going to a hospital in the first place as part of an ambulatory treatment study.

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