LONDON – Eli Lilly said Wednesday that its antibody-based drug has been shown to reduce the number of admissions for coronavirus patients recently diagnosed with mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19.
The US drug manufacturer said it tested three different doses of LY-CoV555 against placebo in a trial of about 450 patients. The median dose of 2,800 mg met the target of the trial to significantly reduce the presence of SARS-CoV-2 after 11 days.
Other doses of the antibody drug, including the 700 mg dose and the 7,000 mg dose, did not meet this target.
The announcement comes at a time when many are closely monitoring the development of antibody drugs as a potential bridge to a coronavirus vaccine.
To date, more than 29.5 million people have contracted Covid-1
“These preliminary data from the BLAZE-1 study suggest that LY-CoV555, an antibody specifically targeted to SARS-CoV-2, has a direct antiviral effect and may reduce COVID-related admissions,” said Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief scientist and president. from Lilly Research Laboratories, said in a statement.
“The results strengthen our belief that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19,” said Skovronsky.
Shares of Eli Lilly rose around 2.6% in pre-market trading shortly after the announcement.
LY-CoV555 belongs to a class of treatments known as monoclonal antibodies. It is designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus and potentially preventing and treating coronavirus.
The antibody, developed by Eli Lilly and AbCeller, was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first American patients to recover from Covid-19.
Eli Lilly is one of several companies developing antibody drugs with GlaxoSmithKline and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.