A drug developed by Eli Lilly helped Covid-19 patients clear the virus that causes Covid-19 more quickly and thus avoid their admission to hospital.
According to a clinical trial developed by Lilly & Co, the administration of its antibody has reduced hospitalization and visits to UCIS, in patients with moderate symptoms of COVID-19.
The drug is what is known as a monoclonal antibody, which experts consider one of the most likely technologies to help treat Covid-19. It is a manufactured version of the antibodies that the body uses as part of its response to a virus.
“This is a good start,” acknowledged Eric Topol, director and founder of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. “This whole family of monoclonal antibodies could change the landscape of the pandemic.”
The study tested three different doses of LY-CoV555, an antibody designed to recognize and attack the new coronavirus, preventing the infection from spreading.
Of the total 302 patients treated with the three different doses of LY-CoV555, five of them, or 1.7%, had to be admitted to a hospital or visit an emergency room. That compares with a rate of 6%, or 9 out of 150, of the patients who received a placebo in the trial, the company said.
It was the 2,800-milligram dose that achieved the trial’s main goal of reducing the amount of virus detected in patients compared to placebo 11 days after treatment.
The American laboratory announced that it hopes to publish the results of the interim analysis in a peer-reviewed journal and discuss appropriate next steps with global regulators.
The company said that most of the hospitalizations occurred in patients who had underlying risk factors, such as being elderly or obese, suggesting a more pronounced effect of treatment in people in those high-risk groups.
“The results reinforce our belief that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19,” he said. Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief science officer, in a statement.
The company said the trial was ongoing and has now enrolled 800 COVID-19 patients mild to moderate. The assay also studies LY-CoV555 in combination with a second Lilly antibody, LY-CoV016, which binds to a different area of the spike protein of the coronavirus.
The antibodies, which are administered intravenously, are similarly being tested in residents and staff of long-term care facilities and also to treat patients already hospitalized for COVID-19.