Covid Antibody Tests at Eli Lilly Paused Due to Safety Concerns

Eli Lilly is the third major pharmaceutical company to pause testing of Covid related research recently. The drug-maker stated on Tuesday its trials of antibody treatments have been put on hold citing safety as their main concern. The pause was recommended by the Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) which has been closely observing the trials to ensure the safety of those patients participating in the tests.  

The company’s researchers have been experimenting with a two-system protein treatment which was developed in their laboratory facilities. The monoclonal antibody protein combination is anticipated to treat severely ill patients if and when the trials succeed. Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment is similar to Regeneron, which was given to President Trump during his hospital stay at Walter Reed following his COVID-19 diagnosis in early October.  

The concept behind the treatment is to give the patient’s immune system a jump-start on fighting off the COVID-19 infection caused by the coronavirus before it inundates their whole system. The experimental treatment utilizes antibodies which are designed to zero in on the virus and neutralize the infection before it escalates into a full-blown illness. The risk involved is, patients infused with the treatment can be prone to serious adverse reactions and side-effects which raises safety concerns.