Eli Lilly Antibody Cuts Hospitalization Rates in COVID-19 Patients
A mid-stage trial of Eli Lilly’s neutralizing COVID-19 monoclonal antibody LY-CoV555 found that the drug reduced the risk of hospitalization in mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients by 72 percent compared to a placebo.
The company reported interim results of its BLAZE-1 phase 2 study of the drug as an outpatient treatment in 452 patients, who either received 700-mg, 2,800-mg, or 7,000-mg infusions of the antibody or a placebo.
Only 1.7 percent of patients who were given the antibody were hospitalized or sent to the emergency room, compared to 6 percent of those given the placebo. In addition, most patients who received a 2,800-mg infusion had significantly reduced levels of the virus by 11 days after randomization.
The antibody treatment was well-tolerated and no drug-related serious adverse events were reported, Lilly said. The company said it will quickly publish the interim results in a peer-reviewed journal and discuss “appropriate next steps” with global regulators.
Meanwhile, the ongoing trial will evaluate LY-CoV555 along with the company’s second antibody, LY-CoV016, as an outpatient COVID-19 treatment.
Lilly’s Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Skovronsky said the results “reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help the fight against COVID-19.”
Aside from the BLAZE-1 study, Lilly is conducting a separate phase 2 study evaluating the drug in newly diagnosed patients and a phase 3 trial of LY-CoV555 for preventing COVID-19 in residents and staff at long-term care facilities (DID, Aug. 4). In addition, the National Institutes of Health is conducting two mid-to-late stage trials of the antibody as a treatment for mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients (DID, Aug. 5).
Other companies, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Vir Biotechnology, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and AstraZeneca are also testing monoclonal antibodies. Results of those trials are expected in coming months. — Jordan Williams