LONDON – Eli Lily said on Wednesday that the antibody-based drug reduces the rate of hospitalization for coronavirus patients recently diagnosed with mild to moderate symptoms of Covid-19.
The US drugmaker said it tested three different doses of LY-CoV555 against placebo in a study of about 450 patients. The average dose of 2800 mg met the goal of the study 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, do not meet this goal.
The announcement comes at a time when many are closely following the development of antibodies as a potential bridge to the coronavirus vaccine.
To date, more than 29.5 million people have contracted Covid-1
“These interim data from the BLAZE-1 study suggest that LY-CoV555, an antibody specifically directed against SARS-CoV-2, has a direct antiviral effect and may reduce hospitalizations associated with COVID,” said Daniel Skovronski, chief research officer and president. of Lilly of Lilly Research Laboratories, said in a statement.
“The results reinforce our belief that neutralizing antibodies can help fight COVID-19,” Skowronski said.
Eli Lilly’s shares rose about 2.6% in market trading shortly after the announcement.
LY-CoV555 belongs to a class of treatments known as monoclonal antibodies. It is designed to block the attachment of the virus and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus and potentially preventing and treating the coronavirus.
The antibody, developed by Eli Lilly and AbCeller, was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first patients in the United States to recover from Covid-19.
Eli Lilly is one of several companies developing antibody drugs, along with GlaxoSmithKline and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.