Eli Lilly and Company started the world’s first human trial of a potential COVID-19 antibody treatment.
The company delivered the first doses on June 1 to start Phase 1 of the study at three major medical centres across the U.S. in New York, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
In the first phase, expected to end in late June, the trial will test whether the therapy is safe and well-tolerated.
Over the next months, they will test different mixtures of the few other antibodies to study whether the drug can also be used to prevent COVID-19. This would prove useful for immunizing at-risk populations.
If the treatment proves to be effective, it would be available by autumn this year and the company has started manufacturing the antibody therapy in large quantities.
“If it does work, we don’t want to waste a single day, we want to have as much medicine as possible available to help as many people quickly,” Dr. Dan Skovronsky, the company’s senior vice president and chief scientific officer, told CNN.
There are several U.S. teams that have cloned antibodies and are close to human testing such as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.