Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) and Junshi Biosciences in China are partnering to develop therapeutic antibodies for potential prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Lilly says it will receive an exclusive license to perform clinical development, manufacturing and distribution of products outside of China.
Junshi Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in discovery, development and commercialization of novel therapies, will maintain all rights in greater China. Lilly says the biosciences company launched one of the industry’s first research and development efforts focused on discovering therapies to combat COVID-19 from the beginning of the outbreak.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have been working diligently to join the fight against the pandemic. Entering into this agreement with Lilly empowers us to accelerate the clinical development of Junshi SARS-CoV-2 antibodies globally,” said Dr. Ning Li, Junshi Biosciences’ chief executive officer. “At the same time, by leveraging Lilly’s global presence and capabilities, we have the potential to reach broader COVID-19 patient populations in a wider range of countries and regions.”
The companies say they are planning to submit an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“As the number of global cases continues to grow, there is an urgent need to study multiple complementary approaches to address this disease,” stated Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, Lilly’s chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories.
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