Drugmaker Eli Lilly stays confident in possible COVID-19 treatment after setback

Drugmaker Eli Lilly stays confident in possible COVID-19 treatment after setback

The study of the monoclonal antibody called bamlanivimab was initially paused by the company on October 13 out of "an abundance of caution", because of a potential safety concern.

Lilly said it intends to request emergency use authorization (EUA) from the FDA for its dual antibody therapy as soon as November.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is funding the study, said Monday it was planning to test other experimental drugs as Covid-19 treatments in the study.

After reviewing updated data from the study, however, the independent board on Monday found no significant differences in safety outcomes between patients getting the Lilly drug and those on placebo.

United States government officials are putting an early end to a study testing an Eli Lilly antibody drug for people hospitalised with Covid-19 because it doesn't seem to be helping them.

'This recommendation was based on a low likelihood that the intervention would be of clinical value in this hospitalized patient population'. Lilly said it would continue testing its antibody drug in other studies.

Lilly told The Wall Street Journal that it will continue testing its antibody therapy in other studies, and does not expect the recent news to impact its success.

Antibodies are proteins the body makes when an infection occurs; they attach to a virus and help it be eliminated. It has already applied for an EUA for the single antibody treatment for use in mild to moderate COVID-19 patients and for its arthritis drug baricitinib.

Antibodies are proteins that the body makes when it is infected. Remdesivir is approved to treat serious hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Lilly says its antibody treatment was developed after it was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first United States patients who recovered from COVID-19. It said a few weeks ago that early results from a study suggested that one of them reduced symptoms, hospitalizations and ER visits for patients with mild or moderate COVID-19.

The experimental drugs are concentrated versions of one or two specific antibodies that worked best against the coronavirus in lab and animal tests.

In an earnings call on Tuesday, the drug maker said its net income fell to $1.208 billion, or $1.33 a share, in the third quarter, down from $1.254 billion, or $1.37 a share, during the same time a year ago.

The drugmaker said its net income fell 4% to US$1.21 billion, partly due to $125 million in research and development costs for developing potential COVID-19 treatments.

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