Eli Lilly and Company on Monday said that its researchers have begun testing its potential antibody treatment developed to fight Covid-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. Eli Lilly is the latest company to begin the human trial phase of a potential drug to treat the deadly coronavirus, which has already killed more than 370,000 globally.
Eli Lilly is also the first company to start human trial of antibody treatment designed to fight Codid-19. The two other efforts from Regeneron and another from the partnership of Vir Technologies and GlaxoSmithKline too are expected to begin testing their antibody drugs soon.
Eli Lilly Shows Hope
Eli Lilly said that its researchers have begun human trials of its potential treatment for COVID-19, in the world's first study of an antibody treatment against the deadly virus. This undoubtedly is a milestone for drug companies aiming to combat the disease. The company said that its early stage of the trial will assess the safety and tolerability in patients infected and hospitalized with Covid-19.
The results of the test are expected to be out by June itself. The drug, which is a man-made antibody against Covid-19, was discovered by AbCellera Biologics, a Vancouver-based company that is being developed by Eli Lilly. The experimental drug LY-CoV555 will be given to 32 people and will only be tested to determine if there are any side effects of it.
How the Antibody Was Developed?
Eli Lily said that its treatment is an antibody targeted against the spike-shaped protein structures of the virus and is designed to block it from looking on to human cells so that the virus doesn't neutralize further. The company said that the antibody treatment was designed after it was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first U.S. patients who successfully recovered from the infection.
Two other companies Regeneron and another from the partnership of Vir Biotechnology and GlaxoSmithKline are also developing antibody treatment for Covid-19. Both are planning to start testing their antibody drugs soon. Regeneron separately has said that it plans to start trial of its antibody cocktail treatment for the novel coronavirus by June and is planning to make available thousands of preventive doses by the end of August.
However, Eli Lilly said that it is not competing with the other two antibody drugs. "We're not racing against each other," Daniel Skovronsky, the chief scientific officer at Eli Lilly, said of the other companies. "We're racing against the death toll from the virus. I hope there will be multiple successful [antibody drugs]. I expect there will be." The drugmaker plans to move into the next phase of testing by applying the drug on non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients, provided it proves to be safe on the ones it has been tried.