Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Amgen Inc. (Nasdaq: AMGN) in California are collaborating on the manufacturing of potential COVID-19 therapies. The companies say they will work to scale up production of antibody treatments for the disease upon receiving regulatory approval.
Lilly says it is currently studying several antibodies that could be used for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19.
“Based on our initial clinical studies, we believe that virus neutralizing antibodies, including LY-CoV-555, could play an important role in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, chief scientific officer for Lilly. “Increasing the manufacturing capacity for our neutralizing antibodies through this collaboration with Amgen is a crucial next step, and together we hope to be able to produce many millions of doses even next year.”
Earlier this week, Lilly said early results from a Phase 2 clinical trial for the LY-CoV-555 antibody showed a reduced rate of hospitalization for patients.
“These interim data from the BLAZE-1 trial suggest that LY-CoV555, an antibody specifically directed against SARS-CoV-2, has a direct antiviral effect and may reduce COVID-related hospitalizations,” Skovronsky said. “The results reinforce our conviction that neutralizing antibodies can help in the fight against COVID-19.”
Dr. David Reese, executive vice president of operations at Amgen, says the company is enthusiastic about the potential for the antibodies as a therapeutic for COVID-19.