Study On COVID Antibody Drug Ends Early After It Failed To Show Results

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has ended a study testing whether an antibody treatment developed by Eli Lilly was effective for treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The study involved patients in the advanced stages of the viral infection who were also being treated with remdesivir, which is the only drug approved by the FDA to treat the coronavirus.

"This recommendation was based on trial data suggesting that bamlanivimab is unlikely to help hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover from this advanced stage of their disease. In this updated dataset, differences in safety outcomes between the groups were not significant," Eli Lilly said in a statement.

The study was paused two weeks ago by independent monitors over safety concerns. After the data was reviewed, the National Institutes of Health found there were no safety issues with the treatment but found little evidence that using the monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab was effective.

The pharmaceutical company said that it is confident that it will see success with other ongoing trials using bamlanivimab to treat mild to moderately ill patients.

"While there was insufficient evidence that bamlanivimab improved clinical outcomes when added to other treatments in hospitalized patients with COVID-19, we remain confident based on data from Lilly's BLAZE-1 study that bamlanivimab monotherapy may prevent progression of the disease for those earlier in the course of COVID-19."

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