COVID-19: Human Trials Begin for Potential Antibody Treatment

US-based El Lilly has said the first phase of the trial will test if the therapy is safe & well-tolerated.

Published
Coronavirus
2 min read
The first human trial for an antibody therapy designed to treat COVID-19 begins in the US, with results expected in late June.
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The first human trial for an antibody therapy designed to treat COVID-19 begins in the US, with first results expected in late June. US-based Eli Lilly and company has said the first phase of the trial will test whether the therapy is safe and well-tolerated. The treatment has been developed in collaboration with a Canadian company AbCellera.

The patients who will be part of the study are hospitalised at New York University's Grossman School of Medicine in New York, Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and Emory University in Atlanta, according to CNN.

The company has claimed that if the treatment is effective, they will be in a position to make it available by August, September.

How Does this Work?

Unlike repurposed drugs, this is a new treatment.

When a patient recovers from COVID-19, their body produces millions of antibodies that help fight the disease. AbCellera acquired a blood sample of the initial patients in the US and identified hundreds of antibodies that could be then be engineered for treatment. The therapy is referred to us monoclonal antibody therapy.

The therapy has shown promise in lab experiments, with the therapy successfully blocking the virus from infecting the cells. The data from those lab experiments has not been made public yet.

The therapy will go by LY-CoV555, lucky triple 5

Similar treatment has been used earlier to treat illnesses like HIV, asthma, lupus, ebola etc.

How is the Trial Happening?

The trial has been planned as a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind Phase I trial. This basically means a set of patients will receive the treatment, while another set will be given a placebo. Patients and their doctors will not be informed who has been given which treatment.

The second phase will expand to patients who are not in hospital settings as well.

The scientists also plan to study the use of the therapy as a prophylactic.

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