KEY POINTS

  • Drugmaker Eli Lilly said the middle dosage of its antibody treatment yielded positive results from its phase 2 trials
  • Eli Lilly is developing multiple antibody treatments, both single antibody treatments and "antibody cocktails"
  • The positive proof of concept data led to a small jump in Eli Lilly's stocks

U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co. (LLY) said Wednesday it had positive proof of concept data from the phase 2 study of an antibody drug it developed in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Data from the phase 2 trials showed “a reduced rate of hospitalization” for anyone participating in the trial prescribed the second of three possible doses of LY-CoV555.

“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,” Eli Lilly chief scientific officer Dr. Daniel Skovronsky said in a press release. “The results reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19.”

LY-CoV555 falls into a class of treatments called monoclonal antibodies. It is one of multiple antibody treatments the drugmaker is developing to treat coronavirus, ranging from single antibody treatments to combinations dubbed “antibody cocktails.”

Eli Lilly developed the treatment alongside AbCeller from an antibody found in a blood sample taken from one of the first U.S. patients to recover from coronavirus. The treatment is meant “to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus” and treating the virus before it spreads further.

Around 450 patients participated in the trial and were given one of three doses or a placebo intravenously. The trial was conducted as a double-blind test, so neither doctors nor patients knew who received a placebo and who received the treatment.

“The monotherapy arms of the trial enrolled mild-to-moderate recently diagnosed COVID-19 patients across four groups,” Eli Lilly said in a press release, with dosages in three of the groups ranging from 700 milligrams to 7,000 mg. “To be eligible, patients were required to have mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19 as well as a positive SARS-CoV-2 test based on a sample collected no more than three days prior to drug infusion.”

Eli Lilly did not say how many patients were given the 2,800 mg dose of LY-CoV555, but said it proved the most effective. The company said it is already manufacturing the drug in hopes upcoming trials will prove successful.

Lilly stock was trading up $1.87 or 1.23% at $151.95 at 2:22 p.m. EDT.

COVID-19 test Experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? Get yourself tested! Photo: Pixabay