An antibody-based drug derived from the blood of an early U.S. survivor of Covid-19 reduced the rate of hospitalization compared with placebo in a new study of people recently diagnosed with the disease, said Eli Lilly & Co., one of the drug’s developers.
Indianapolis-based Lilly said Wednesday that the interim results reinforced the potential of the drug to help Covid-19 patients, and the company will discuss with regulators whether there is enough evidence to support the therapy’s authorization for emergency use during the pandemic.
Lilly is manufacturing the drug and could have more than 100,000 doses by the end of this year, Lilly Chief Scientific Officer Daniel Skovronsky said in an interview.
The drug is known as an antibody because it is an engineered version of the immune system’s molecular fighters that bear the same name.
The Phase 2 study results are “proof of concept that show an antibody against the virus can neutralize the virus in patients, which can have a beneficial effect on symptoms and hospitalizations,” Dr. Skovronsky said.