Eli Lilly confirms antibody drug ineffective for hospitalized COVID-19 patients

Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment bamlanivimab does not improve recovery times or survival rates for patients hospitalized with advanced COVID-19, the drugmaker said Oct. 26.

The drugmaker on Oct. 13 paused the clinical trial it is conducting for the treatment with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The pause was instituted after an independent safety board found that, after five days of treatment, the group of patients who had received the antibodies showed a different “clinical status” than the group who received the placebo, and the difference crossed a predetermined threshold for safety.

The trial will not continue, but Eli Lilly said other trials for the drug will go on to test its effectiveness for patients who have not been exposed to COVID-19 or have milder cases of the disease.

“While there was insufficient evidence that bamlanivimab improved clinical outcomes when added to other treatments in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, we remain confident based on data from Lilly’s BLAZE-1 study that bamlanivimab monotherapy may prevent progression of disease for those earlier in the course of COVID-19,” the drugmaker said in a news release.

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