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Lilly sees success with antibody treatment combination

The Indianapolis headquarters of Eli Lilly and Company. Billionaire investor and Home Depot founder Ken Langone thinks Eli Lilly will be the first trillion-dollar drug company in history. (Photo Provided/Eli Lilly and Co.)

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. has released the results of another Phase 3 trial of its COVID-19 antibody therapies. The company says the combination of its therapies bamlanivimab and etesvimab “significantly reduced” hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19 in high-risk patients who had been recently diagnosed with the disease.

Lilly says the BLAZE-1 trial showed a 70% risk reduction among the 1,035 patients involved. Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, chief scientific officer for Lilly and president of Lilly Research Laboratories, says the results of the trial add valuable clinical evidence about the role of neutralizing antibodies in the fight against COVID-19.

“The death toll from COVID-19 continues to rise around the world and hospitalizations, particularly in the U.S., have reached record highs,” said Skovronsky. “These data further support our belief that bamlanivimab and etesevimab together have the potential to be an important treatment that significantly reduces hospitalizations and death in high-risk COVID-19 patients.”

Lilly says the results are consistent with observations from other Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 studies evaluating the antibody therapies. 

Bamlanivimab has already received an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients. The FDA is currently reviewing a request submitted by Lilly in November for an EUA for bamlanivimab and etesevimab together as another treatment.

Lilly says it is collaborating with California-based Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) to accelerate the production of etesevimab and provide up to 1 million doses for administration with bamlanivimab by mid-2021.

Last week, the company detailed the results of a Phase 3 trial conducted in partnership with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which showed success in reducing the risk of contracting COVID-19 among residents and staff of long-term care facilities.