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Lilly researchers optimistic after antibody shows promise in fight against COVID-19

Posted at 12:55 PM, Sep 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-16 12:55:54-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly and Company reported Wednesday a clinical trial involving a neutralizing antibody reduced the rate of hospitalization in COVID-19 patients.

The data from an interim analysis of the Phase 2 BLAZE-1 clinical trial showed a reduced rate of hospitalization for patients treated with LY-CoV555, a COVID-19 neutralizing antibody.

LY-CoV555 is "designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus, potentially preventing and treating COVID-19," according to Lilly. In the trial, patients received either a placebo, 700 mg, 2,800 mg, 7,000 mg.

"These interim data from the BLAZE-1 trial suggest that LY-CoV555, an antibody specifically directed against SARS-CoV-2, has a direct antiviral effect and may reduce COVID-related hospitalizations," Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly's chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories, said in a news release. "The results reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19."

Lilly reported that most patients, including those who received the placebo, were nearly cleared of the virus by day 11 of the trial and patients who received the antibody improved by day 3.

Lilly also said 1.7% (5-of-302) of patients who received the antibody were hospitalized, as compared to 6% (9-of-150) of those who received the placebo. Most of the patients who were hospitalized had underlying risk factors, such as age or BMI. None of the patients required ventilation or died, and there were "no drug-related serious adverse events reported."