Drug Company Suggests Coronavirus Antibody Drug May Reduce Hospitalizations

A new coronavirus antibody drug may reduce hospitalizations based on the interim results of a clinical trial. While the results have not been peer-reviewed, Eli Lilly, which is developing the drug along with Canadian company AbCellera, said they are encouraged by the findings, which showed that patients who received the treatment were 72 percent less likely to end up hospitalized.

"The results reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19," said Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., Lilly's chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.

The drug uses manufactured copies of antibodies taken from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The medication is given once through an IV and was tested in three separate doses. 450 people who had recently been diagnosed with COVID-19 were given either the medication or a placebo. After reviewing the results, researchers found that 1.7 percent of those who got the drug were hospitalized, while six percent of the participants who received the placebo ended up in the hospital.

The company said that two of the three doses missed the study's primary goal of reducing the amount of virus in a patient's system within 11 days. The middle dosage showed the most promise, meeting the end goal of the study.

The company is working to have the results published in a peer-reviewed journal and is discussing the next steps with global regulators.

"We are grateful to the patients, physicians, and staff that have participated in this trial," Skovronsky said. "We look forward to continued data generation as this trial proceeds."

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