First Human Trials of a Potential COVID-19 Antibody Treatment in Humans Begun by Eli Lilly

June 19, 20200

LY-CoV555, a neutralizing IgG1 monoclonal antobody (mAb) which blocks viral attachment and entry into the human cell, from Eli Lilly could potentially be the first antibody treatment for COVID 19. The first in human study of the potential antibody treatment has begun, and the patients have been dosed as announced by Eli Lilly and Company. Based on the pre-clinical data produced for the therapy, the Indianapolis based company received greenlight to test the investigational medicine in patients. The first set of patients in the study are being treated at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine in New York, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and Emory University in Atlanta.   

The Phase 1 Trial is being planned as a randomized, placebo controlled and double-blind trial. If the results indicate that the medicine is safe to administer, the company plans on studying the next phase of trial in non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Lilly has also indicated plans to studying the candidate in preventive care settings, with focus on vulnerable patients who previously were not optimal candidates for vaccines.  

Eli Lilly indicated that the therapy developed in collaboration with AbCellera, NAID and other academic institutions has potential for preventive as well as for treatment of COVID-19, It may also be an important development for the set of patients at high risk, such as elderly and those with compromised immune system.the same time as safety and efficacy of the therapy is being tested the company is already preparing for large-scale manufacturing of this potential therapy and plans on making a several hundred thousand doses available by the end of the year, if the results of the study gives way to an optimistic scenario.  

With substantial global momentum in the quest for antibody therapies for COVID-19, antoher leading program in the fray is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals that has also announced the beginning of clinical trials for REGN-COV2, its investigational dual antibody cocktail indicated to be tested for prevention as well as for treatment of COVID-19.   As the race to COVID-19 solutions intensify, it is encouraging to note the regulatory support and swift developments around both treatments and preventive alternatives.  With interim data from vaccine trails so far pointing to reduction in pneumonia vs prevention of infection itself, the criticality of a comprehensive arsenal of solutions against COVID-19 becomes all the more obvious.   

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