Trial of Antibody Drug for COVID-19 Stopped for Lack of Effectiveness

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2020 — Testing of the Eli Lilly antibody drug for hospitalized COVID-19 patients has been halted because the treatment does not help them recover from their infection.

Two weeks ago, enrollment in the study was paused because of a possible safety issue, theAssociated Pressreported. But the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which sponsored the Lilly study, pulled the plug on the trial Monday — not because of any safety problem, but because there was only a slight chance that the drug would be effective.

Although it is a setback for one of the most promising treatment approaches for COVID-19, Lilly said in a statement that the government is continuing a separate study testing the antibody drug in mild to moderately ill patients to try to prevent hospitalization and severe illness, theAPsaid.

Lilly and Regeneron have both asked for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration while late-stage studies continue. Lilly said Monday that its request is based on other results suggesting that the drug helps patients who are not hospitalized and that it will continue to seek FDA permission for emergency use, the AP reported.

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