Eli Lilly has dosed its first patients in the world’s first trial of an investigational antibody designed to treat COVID-19.
LY-CoV555 is the first investigational treatment to emerge from the company’s development collaboration with AbCellera.
The phase 1 trial is taking place at major U.S. medical centers, including New York City’s NYU Grossman School of Medicine and Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai, the drugmaker announced Monday.
Eli Lilly’s goal is to have several hundred thousand doses ready by the end of 2020. The first human trial’s results will be evaluated later this month, and broader efficacy trials are planned if the data are promising.
Antibody therapies “may be particularly important for groups hardest hit by the disease, such as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems," said Daniel Skovronsky, Eli Lilly’s chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.
The company said it plans to test additional neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19 over the next couple of months, including both single antibody therapies and antibody combinations.
GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology are also in the hunt for an effective antibody, as is Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. The companies are expected to begin testing their candidates in humans soon. — James Miessler