Health

Drugmaker Starts Human Trials of Coronavirus Treatment

Pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly & Co. has started an early-stage trial to test a treatment for the coronavirus in the world’s first study of an antibody treatment against the virus, the company announced Monday.

The experimental treatment, LY-CoV555, has been collaboratively developed with AbCellera Biologics, a privately-held company, CNBC reported.

The study will access safety and tolerability in patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and results are expected by the end of June.

Eli Lilly’s treatment consists of an antibody directed against the spike-shaped protein structures of the virus that has been constructed to block it from locking on to human cells, thereby neutralizing the disease.

The company said it expects to move to the next phase of testing its treatment with non-hospitalized coronavirus patients if the drug turns out to be safe.

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