Eli Lilly has ended a major COVID-19 antibody test among hospitalized patients – Business Insider

  • Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly announced Monday it would stop trials testing an antibody drug in hospitalized patients after data suggested treatment was “unlikely” to help this group recover from COVID-19.
  • Eli Lilly had paused trials of the treatment in mid October after an independent board of experts raised health concerns. 
  • The company said trials including patients with milder forms of COVID-19 would continue, and submitted a request to the FDA for emergency use authorization for bamlanivimab in higher-risk COVID-19 patients.
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A major US drugmaker is ending trials for a coronavirus treatment for failing among hospitalized patients. 

Eli Lilly announced Monday it would stop a study testing bamlanivimab in hospitalized patients after National Institutes of Health trial data suggested the drug was “unlikely” to help this group recover from the disease. 

The company paused trials of the treatment in mid October after an independent board of experts raised health concerns. 

Read more: Here’s how 9 leading drugmakers are racing to develop a new kind of coronavirus treatment despite an early setback

Eli Lilly, the $120 billion drug maker known for selling insulin, plans to invest $400 million in research in development for COVID-19 treatments this year. The company missed analyst projections of third quarter profit by $0.17 per share, but reported a 5% increase in revenue. 

Eli Lilly said trials including patients with milder forms of COVID-19 would continue. The company said using bamlanivimab with another antibody, etesevimab, reduced symptoms and hospitalizations, but has not yet published clinical results in a peer-reviewed medical journal

The company said it submitted a request to the FDA for emergency use authorization for bamlanivimab in higher-risk COVID-19 patients.

Antibodies are virus-fighting proteins produced by the immune system. Along with Eli Lilly, biotech company Regeneron has developed an antibody treatment that President Donald Trump received during his COVID-19 treatment.

Read more: ‘We’ve never moved at this speed before:’ $120 billion pharma giant Eli Lilly just teamed up with a biotech startup to fight the coronavirus pandemic

The FDA approved the antiviral coronavirus treatment remdesivir, developed by US drug maker Gilead, on October 22. 

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