Franciscan Health in Indianapolis is recruiting patients for a clinical research study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a COVID-19 antibody treatment drug. The hospital says the BLAZE-1 study is seeking and treating patients with early mild to moderate illness caused by the coronavirus.
The BLAZE-1 study is being sponsored by Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY). Franciscan Health Indianapolis and Hammond are two of 24 hospitals across the country chosen to be research sites.
“Kicking off the BLAZE-1 Study with research sites around the country, including Franciscan Health, is a huge milestone for the global fight against COVID-19, and we’re excited to bring the industry one step closer to a potential treatment,” said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Eli Lilly’s chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories. “We look forward to working with eligible patients who are not only interested in receiving investigational treatments for COVID-19, but who also understand how their participation can impact the health and well-being of millions of people around the world.”
Franciscan says the LY-CoV555 drug is an antibody therapy engineered from one of the first individuals in the U.S. to recover from COVID-19. The drug is specifically designed to attack the virus. and lab studies have shown that the drug “binds to the virus and neutralizes its ability to infect cells and replicate.”
“Franciscan Health Indianapolis has treated hundreds of patients with COVID-19 and provided testing for more than 11,000 residents,” said Dr. Imad Shawa, principal investigator for the Franciscan’s study site. “We’re pleased to be chosen by Lilly to participate in this important research for a treatment that may help curb the spread of the coronavirus.”
Franciscan Health Hammond has also been designated as a research site for the study and will also begin recruiting participants.
If a person is eligible and decides to participate, Franciscan says its research staff will perform specific tests and procedures to monitor the patient’s health and how their body reacts to the antibody treatment. The tests and procedures include physical exams, vital sign measurements, blood samples and swabs.
The hospital says the study drug is being compared to a placebo, and both the study drug and the placebo will be administered as a single-dose intravenous infusion. Participants are randomly selected to receive the placebo or the study drug.
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