By Deena Beasley
Sept 16 (Reuters) – Eli Lilly & Co said on Wednesday that its experimental antibody reduced the need for hospitalization and emergency room visits for patients with moderate COVID-19, according to an interim analysis of a mid-stage clinical trial.
The study tested three different doses of LY-CoV555, a manufactured antibody designed to recognize and lock onto the novel coronavirus, preventing the infection from spreading.
Of the total 302 patients treated with three different doses of LY-CoV555, five of them, or 1.7%, had to be admitted to a hospital or visit a hospital emergency room. That compares with a rate of 6%, or 9 out of 150, for trial patients given a placebo, the company said.
Only the middle dose, 2,800 milligrams, achieved the trial’s main goal of reducing the amount of virus detected in patients compared to a placebo 11 days after treatment, it added.
No drug-related serious adverse events were reported and there have been no trial deaths.
Lilly said it expects to publish the results of the interim analysis in a peer-reviewed journal and discuss appropriate next steps with global regulators.
The company said most hospitalizations occurred in patients with underlying risk factors such as being elderly or obese, suggesting a more pronounced treatment effect for people in these higher-risk groups.
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In this day and age, understanding bacteria and viruses and developing vaccines are national security issues. In my view sizable part of every country’s defense budget should be spent in these pursuits rather than making tanks and other weapons.
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