Coronavirus: New experimental antibody drug appears to protect against Covid-19 | HEALTH


An experimental Eli Lilly monoclonal antibody significantly reduced coronavirus levels and symptoms in humans after a few days, as well as the possibility of admission to the hospital, without even causing serious side effects, as announced by the American pharmaceutical company.

These are the first really encouraging clinical findings from the administration of neutralizing antibodies to patients with Covid-19. The drugs that have been shown to help coronavirus patients to date – remedisivir and dexamethasone – are only for hospital patients, while those with mild up to moderate symptoms they do not have any medicine at their disposal and just hope for the best possible outcome. Drugs such as Eli Lilly’s antibody are intended for this group of patients.


According to the APE-MPE, of the 452 patients who had recently (within the previous three days) been diagnosed with Covid-19, only 1.7% of those who received the LY-CoV555 antibody in a single dose were eventually admitted to hospital, compared with 6 % of those who had taken placebo, which equates to a 72% reduction in the risk of hospitalization. The drug under test is a replica of a natural antibody produced from the blood plasma of patients who have recovered from the disease.

Many scientists hope that such monoclonal antibodies – which are being developed extensively by other companies and scientific groups – will prove to be powerful therapies for Covid-19, but their mass production by bacteria is difficult, costly and time consuming. Even before Covid-19, such antibodies were used to treat a variety of conditions, from cancer and arthritis to eczema.

Her announcement Eli Lilly has not been accompanied by detailed data, while independent scientists have not confirmed the findings so far, nor has a relevant scientific publication been made yet. The clinical trial of the antibody continues and the participation of patients will reach 800, while at the same time the company is testing a second antibody, LY-CoV016, which binds to a different target on the coronavirus, according to the “New York Times” and the “Science”. The antibodies provided by the drug LY-CoV555 to patients are estimated to last for about a month in their body, while a vaccine would provide immunity over a longer period of time.

The company, which has already started producing large quantities of the monoclonal antibody in the hope that it will actually prove effective, will seek urgent approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the rapid release of the drug.


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