Lilly releases positive results of 2 Covid-19 drug candidates

Lilly says it's 'extremely well-positioned' to supply Olumiant if granted an emergency authorization in COVID-19

Ongoing studies will seek to confirm this finding. Exploratory analyses also suggest the COVID-19 symptoms of patients on LY-CoV555 improved faster than their counterparts on placebo.

Earlier this week the leaders of the UK Recovery trial, who have been at the forefront of the global search for Covid-19 treatments, said they would include two monoclonal antibodies developed by USA drug firm Regeneron in their study. Treatment emergent adverse events were similar across all dose groups and comparable to placebo. Viral RNA sequencing revealed putative LY-CoV555-resistance variants in placebo and all treatment arms.

They found that the virus was changing, to some extent: 8 percent of the viruses had mutated in participants getting the drug, compared with 6 percent in those receiving the placebo.

"These interim data suggest that LY-CoV555 has a direct antiviral effect and may reduce COVID-related hospitalizations", said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., the chief medical officer for Eli Lilly, according to the Post.

With the use of monoclonal antibodies developed by two USA drug manufacturers, Eli Lilly and AbCeller, in experimental therapy, COVID-19 patients can clear the infection faster, potentially reducing or even preventing hospitalizations, CNBC writes.

Jonsson expects the results to be published in a peer-reviewed journal in a few weeks.


These latest results come from an "interim analysis" of data from a Phase II trial of LY-CoV555.

BLAZE-1 (NCT04427501) is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study created to assess the efficacy and safety of LY-CoV555 and LY-CoV016 for the treatment of symptomatic COVID-19 in the outpatient setting.

A drug company says that partial results from a study testing an antibody drug give hints that it may help mild to moderately ill COVID-19 patients from needing to be hospitalized, a goal no current coronavirus medicine has been able to meet.

The Eli Lilly drug works by neutralizing the spike protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Plus, Olumiant "added benefit on a relatively high standard already", noting remdesivir's proven efficacy in shortening recovery time. The blood of survivors is being tested as a treatment for COVID-19 patients because it contains such antibodies, but the strength and types of antibodies varies depending on each donor, and doing this on a large scale is impractical.

On Tuesday, top officials at Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration's effort to expedite the development of an inoculation and treatment, identified antibody therapies as one of its foremost R&D priorities to counter Covid. The ongoing trial, named BLAZE-1, is meant to test the treatment's safety and optimal dose more than its effectiveness. It was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first USA patients who recovered from COVID-19. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study evaluated LY-CoV555 for the treatment of symptomatic COVID-19 in the outpatient setting.

The company has successfully completed enrollment and primary safety assessments of the antibody in a Phase I trial of hospitalized COVID-19 patients and now long-term follow-up is ongoing. Lilly intends to test both single-antibody therapy as well as combinations of antibodies (sometimes known as antibody cocktails) as potential therapeutics for COVID-19. "We need to see more data". "A lot is pinned not only on Lilly but on the whole family of these [monoclonal antibodies], because even though they're expensive and they're not going to make a gajillion doses, they could make a big difference in the whole landscape of the pandemic".

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