Eli Lilly begins early-stage human testing of its experimental antibody-based COVID-19 vaccine

Eli Lilly begins early-stage human testing of its experimental antibody-based COVID-19 vaccine
  • Eli Lilly begins early-stage human testing of its experimental antibody-based COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Early-stage trial will study the drug's tolerability and safety in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
  • The U.S drug maker will include non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the next phase of its trial.

Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) announced on Monday that it has started human testing of its potential COVID-19 vaccine. The drugmaker said that participants of its early-stage trial have already received a dosage of the vaccine. Eli Lilly’s potential treatment marks the first antibody-based vaccine for COVID-19 that has approached human trials.

The novel respiratory disease caused by the Coronavirus has so far infected more than 6.2 million people worldwide and caused over 374,000 deaths. Several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies from across the globe are currently committed to making effective treatment for COVID-19, but none of the vaccines has been approved so far.

Early-stage trial will study the drug’s tolerability and safety

The news comes only a month after Lilly reported its quarterly financial results that posted a 15% increase in its revenue as customers stockpiled drugs ahead of the Coronavirus restrictions. The pharmaceutical company was reported slightly upbeat in premarket trading on Monday. At £124 per share, Lilly is roughly 15% up year to date in the stock market. Learn more about the value investing strategy.

In a statement on Monday, the Indianapolis-headquartered company said that its early-stage trial will be testing the antibody-based vaccine for tolerability and safety in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Results of the initial study, as per Lilly, will be released in the last week of June.

The candidate vaccine that Lilly is calling LY-CoV555 is a result of its collaboration with AbCellera Biologics. The American pharmaceutical company announced its partnership with the privately held Canadian biotechnology firm in March to test antibodies as a potential cure for COVID-19.

Next phase trial will include non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients

According to Lilly, its antibody treatment stemmed from the recovery of the 1st patient who won the battle against COVID-19 in the United States. The patient’s blood sample, the company added, helped identification of the antibody that could potentially cure the new lung disease.  

The drug manufacturer expressed confidence that if its early-stage human testing in hospitalized COVID-19 patients meets the safety requirements, it will extend the study to non-hospitalized patients of COVID-19 in the next phase of its human trials.

Eli Lilly’s performance in the stock market was reported fairly upbeat in 2019 with an annual gain of about 12%. At the time of writing, the American pharmaceutical company has a market cap of £118.19 billion and a price to earnings ratio of 25.36.

By Wajeeh Khan
Mr. Khan specialises in Public Health by academia but is a trader by passion. Taking up two new hobbies of writing and trading in his teen years, he is now a professional trader and news writer with over 5 years of experience in various financial markets. Khan is passionate about bringing insightful articles to his readers and hopes to add value to their portfolios.
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