Eli Lilly testing COVID-19 drug derived from survivor blood

Eli Lilly has begun testing the experimental drug it derived from antibodies in a COVID-19 survivor's blood, according to a June 1 news release from the Indianapolis drugmaker.

This potential intravenous treatment was developed from a blood sample of a U.S. COVID-19 survivor after researchers identified an antibody that showed promise in fighting off the novel coronavirus. The drugmaker's scientists copied the antibody to produce a therapy focused on blocking and neutralizing the coronavirus.

The drug's first study will involve up to 32 COVID-19 patients and will mainly test safety and efficacy. Eli Lilly plans to additionally test if the antibody therapy can prevent COVID-19 in at-risk individuals. If so, it could be used as a preventive treatment while a vaccine is still being developed.

If testing goes well, the drugmaker plans to introduce a second study that will treat patients who are not hospitalized.

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