Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has paused its trial of an antibody treatment for COVID-19. While a specific reason for the pause was not provided, the pharmaceutical company says the decision was made “out of an abundance of caution.”
Lilly’s investigational neutralizing antibody, known as LY-CoV555, was being tested in an ACTIV-3 study led by the National Institutes of Health. ACTIV stands for “Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines” and is a public-private partnership that launched in April, according to the NIH website.
The company says the study’s independent data safety monitoring board recommended the pause.
“The trial, evaluating Lilly’s investigational neutralizing antibody as a treatment for COVID-19 in hospitalized patients, is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH),” a Lilly spokesperson said in a statement. “Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study.”
Lilly did not specify whether an unexpected illness was the reason to pause the study or if other factors were involved.
The study is one of several being conducted to test the use of the antibody treatment in various settings.
In other trials not connected to the ACTIV-3 study, Lilly said earlier this month the combination of LY-CoV555 with another antibody resulted in lower rates of COVID-related hospitalization and ER visits.
The company said it planned to submit a request with the Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorization for a combination antibody therapy in November, though it is unclear if those plans have been delayed.