INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has begun a Phase 3 trial for a potential coronavirus antibody treatment. The company says the study, which is part of an ongoing collaboration with Canada-based AbCellera, will investigate the use of the treatment to prevent COVID-19 among residents and staff at long-term care facilities.
Lilly says the BLAZE-2 study is a first-of-its kind trial for COVID-19. The study will involve up to 2,400 residents and staff who live or work at facilities throughout the U.S. that have had a recently-diagnosed case of COVID-19 and are at a high risk of exposure.
The company says the goal is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the treatment, known as LY-CoV555, in preventing infection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The study will test wither a single dose of the treatment reduces the rate of infection through four weeks, as well as complications from COVID-19 through eight weeks.
“COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on nursing home residents,” said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, chief scientific officer for Lilly. “We’re working as fast as we can to create medicines that might stop the spread of the virus to these vulnerable individuals. While it’s not easy to conduct clinical trials in this setting, we’re taking on the challenge in an effort to help those who need us the most.”
Lilly says it has created customized mobile research units to support the on-site study, which include a retrofitted recreational vehicle to support mobile labs and clinical trial material preparation. A trailer truck will also deliver all clinical trial supplies needed to create an on-site infusion clinic.
The company says additional staff will also be on site to assist with the study in an effort to minimize the burden on the facilities.
The study is being conducted in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, along with the COVID-19 Prevention Network and several long-term care facility networks across the country.