Eli Lilly, Amgen partner to make Lilly's COVID-19 antibody drug

Eli Lilly and Amgen are uniting to boost manufacturing capacity for Eli Lilly's experimental COVID-19 drugs, they said Sept. 17. 

Eli Lilly is studying several types of antibodies for use as a COVID-19 treatment. A monoclonal antibody drug it is developing was recently shown in early trials to help the virus leave COVID-19 patients' systems sooner, and it may reduce hospitalizations. 

Through the partnership, the drugmakers said they expect to be able to serve many more patients if one of the drugs is successful and gets regulatory approval. 

"We are impressed with Lilly's data, in particular the reduction in hospitalizations, and are enthusiastic about the potential for these neutralizing antibodies as a therapeutic for COVID-19," said David Reese, MD, executive vice president of research and development at Amgen.

Eli Lilly's chief scientific officer, Daniel Skovronsky, MD, PhD, said that based on clinical studies, he believes the antibody drugs could play an important role in the fight against COVID-19. 

"Increasing the manufacturing capacity for our neutralizing antibodies through this collaboration with Amgen is a crucial next step, and together we hope to be able to produce many millions of doses, even next year," he said. 

Read the full news release here.

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