"COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on nursing home residents. We're working as fast as we can to create medicines that might stop the spread of the virus to these vulnerable individuals. While it's not easy to conduct clinical trials in this setting, we're taking on the challenge in an effort to help those who need us the most," said Daniel Skovronsky, M.D., Ph.D., Lilly's chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories. "We are grateful to the NIAID team for their exceptional partnership on this innovative trial and we are deeply appreciative of the care facilities, their staff and the many residents who will be participating in this important study."
The Lilly-sponsored BLAZE-2 study is a first-of-its-kind COVID-19 trial and is being conducted in partnership with NIAID, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with the COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) and several long-term care facility networks across the country. The study will enroll residents and staff who live or work at facilities that have had a recently diagnosed case of COVID-19 and who are now at a high risk of exposure. It will evaluate the efficacy and safety of LY-CoV555 for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19, testing whether a single dose of LY-CoV555 reduces the rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection through 4 weeks, as well as complications of COVID-19 through 8 weeks. It is expected to enroll up to 2,400 participants.
"The mission of the COVID-19 Prevention Network is to conduct Phase 3 vaccine and monoclonal antibody efficacy studies for the prevention of COVID-19," said Myron Cohen, M.D., director of UNC's Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and a CoVPN leader. "We're excited to partner with Lilly to determine whether LY-CoV555 can prevent or mitigate progression of COVID-19 infection in this vulnerable population that has been greatly impacted by this virus."
To address the challenging aspects of running a clinical trial in a long-term care facility during a pandemic, Lilly created customized mobile research units to support the on-site study. These units include a custom retrofitted recreational vehicle (RV) to support mobile labs and clinical trial material preparation, along with a trailer truck that will deliver all clinical trial supplies needed to create an on-site infusion clinic. To further minimize the burden on these facilities that normally do not conduct clinical trials, additional staff will be at the facilities to assist with the operations of the study. Lilly will deploy its mobile research unit fleet in response to outbreaks of the virus at long-term care facilities across the U.S.
"We commend Lilly and NIH in recognizing the critical need for developing medicines to combat the spread of the virus among some of the most vulnerable populations," said Dr. Alexander Stemer, a board certified infectious disease expert and co-chair of Symphony Care Network's COVID-19 task force. "As the scientific community searches for safe and effective therapies for COVID-19, we are proud to participate in this leading-edge study given its potential to save lives."
About LY-CoV555LY-CoV555 is a potent, neutralizing IgG1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. It is designed to block viral attachment and entry into human cells, thus neutralizing the virus, potentially preventing and treating COVID-19. LY-CoV555 emerged from the collaboration between Lilly and AbCellera to create antibody therapies for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. Lilly scientists rapidly developed the antibody in less than three months after it was discovered by AbCellera and tested by the scientists at the NIAID Vaccine Research Center. It was identified from a blood sample taken from one of the first U.S. patients who recovered from COVID-19.
Lilly has successfully completed dosing of LY-CoV555 in a Phase 1 study of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 (NCT04411628) and long-term follow-up is ongoing. BLAZE-1, a Phase 2 study in people recently diagnosed with COVID-19 in the ambulatory setting (NCT04427501), is ongoing. Based on current trends, enrollment is estimated to be completed in September, with initial data readout soon thereafter followed by full data in Q4. LY-CoV555 has been well tolerated at all doses tested and no drug-related severe adverse events (SAEs) have been observed to date. Efficacy data are not yet available.
Lilly is committed to the rapid release of important scientific data. Large-scale manufacturing of this potential therapy continues, with the goal of having more than one hundred thousand doses available by the end of the year should LY-CoV555 prove to be a meaningful therapeutic option for COVID-19.
About Lilly's COVID-19 EffortsLilly is bringing the full force of its scientific and medical expertise to attack the coronavirus pandemic around the world. Existing Lilly medicines are now being studied to understand their potential in treating complications of COVID-19, and the company is collaborating with two biotech companies to discover novel antibody treatments for COVID-19. Lilly intends to test both single antibody therapy as well as combinations of antibodies (sometimes known as antibody cocktails) as potential therapeutics for COVID-19. Click here for media resources related to Lilly's COVID-19 efforts.
About Eli Lilly and CompanyLilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism.