Antibody-Based Drug May Reduce COVID-19 Hospitalizations: Study

he results are in from the primary antibody drug for COVID-19 tested in humans. the tiny Phase 2 clinical test involving 452 participants shows the drug can reduce the necessity for hospitalization in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 symptoms compared to regulate patients. The drug’s manufacturer, Eli Lilly, released a press release announcing the trial results, and therefore the data haven’t yet been peer-reviewed or published.

Convalescent plasma treatments, which work by giving a patient a myriad of antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients, have received emergency use authorization from the United States government , but their benefits are uncertain. Lilly’s LY-CoV555 is monoclonal and provides a singular, targeted antibody treatment which will be scaled up and supply consistent dosing. the drugs binds to the spike protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, preventing it from infecting cells. Other antibodies bind to the virus also but can’t always block infection.

“These interim data from the BLAZE-1 trial suggest that LY-CoV555, an antibody specifically directed against SARS-CoV-2, features a direct antiviral effect and should reduce COVID-related hospitalizations,” Eli Lilly chief scientific officer Daniel Skovronsky says within the statement. “The results reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help within the fight against COVID-19.”

See “First Antibody Trial Launched in COVID-19 Patients”
The company reports that out of the 302 patients given the drug, five ended up within the hospital, a complete of 1.7 percent. This rate may be a marked improvement over the 150 patients who received a placebo, among whom nine, or 6 percent, required a hospital stay. there have been no reports of serious adverse reactions.

According to Science, most of the patients who ended up within the hospital were older or had a high body mass index—two known risk factors for COVID-19 complications.

Patients who received the drug were divided into groups by dosage and got either 700, 2,800, or 7,000 mg of the drug. Viral load measurements compared initial samples to those on Day 11, and doctors monitored patients for health outcomes through Day 29. Ultimately, the 2,800 mg dose seemed to be the Goldilocks sweet spot and was the sole one that met the goal viral load by Day 11.

“This may be a good start,” Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, who wasn’t involved the study, tells STAT. “A lot is pinned not only on Lilly but on the entire family of those [monoclonal antibodies], because albeit they’re expensive and they’re not getting to make a gajillion doses, they might make an enormous difference within the whole landscape of the pandemic.”

The drug was developed from an antibody harvested from a COVID-19 survivor. Carl Hansen, the CEO of AbCellera, a biotech firm collaborating with Eli Lilly on LY-CoV555, told The Scientist earlier this year that the businesses went from blood sample to clinical trials in only three months. “It would normally take anywhere from two and a half years to 5 years for a program like this to maneuver forward,” he said.

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