Eli Lilly and Company is a pharmaceutical company based in Indiana named after its founder, Eli Lilly. Mostly known for their development, production, and distribution of psychiatric drugs, Eli Lilly and Company has made serious pushes to create an effective antibody treatment for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic. Their drug, LY-CoV555, is derived from the blood samples of very early on individuals who recovered from COVID-19. As it currently stands, the drug developed by Eli Lilly and Company is in combination therapy trials; however, the company recently requested that the FDA approve the antibody treatment for high risk patients who have been diagnosed with a mild to moderate version of COVID-19. This request shows clear positive signs in the drug, with the data coming out from Eli Lilly and Company showing evidence that LY-CoV555 helps to reduce hospitalization and emergency room visits for patients with COVID-19. The pharmaceutical company will have up to 100,000 doses of their drug available by the end of October, and up to 1 million doses by 2021.
Regeneron is perhaps the most well-known company among the mix. It was chosen for federal funding under Operation Warp Speed, and their own antibody cocktail, REGN-COV2, was so far along that it was used as part of the battery of treatments that President Donald Trump was administered after his own diagnosis of COVID-19. Beyond the massive noise and news surrounding the company, Regeneron’s drug has shown very promising results thus far. The first data released by the company showed that REGN-COV2 reduced the viral load and improved overall symptoms in non-hospitalized patients. As of right now, REGEN-COV2 is already in Phase 3 trials, and has been approved by the FDA on a case-by-case basis under compassionate use requests, which is how President Trump received access to it. Based on current information and the abundance of funding, Regeneron’s antibody cocktail treatment appears to be by far the closest to large-scale FDA approval and usage for COVID-19 diagnosed individuals.
Centivax Inc./ Distributed Bio Inc.
Centivax Inc. is a therapeutics-based spin-off of the larger contract research organization, Distributed Bio, Inc. The antibody treatment developed by the two companies which remains unnamed has shown major signs of optimism in early research so far. The antibody therapeutic was used in extensive animal testing on hamsters and showed that it protected these hamsters at a high level. The treatment was used to preemptively protect the hamsters from COVID-19, who were then exposed to the virus. The results of this test showed that it drastically reduced the viral load in the hamsters, even those who were immunocompromised. In another study, the hamsters were already infected with COVID-19. In that study, once treated with the antibody therapeutics, the researchers saw a 97% reduction of the virus in the hamsters’ lungs as well as a reduction in overall lung damage. Because of how well the hamster lab studies went, Centivax Inc. has moved forward into human clinical trials.
Sorrento Therapeutics is somewhat unique on the list because it has two different antibody treatments that have been developed, each providing slightly different results in preclinical testing on hamsters. The first treatment, STI-1499, had marginally less exciting results in the hamsters, but is farther along in the process. In testing, a 2,000 microgram dose of STI-1499 in infected hamsters reduced the viral load down to virtually undetectable amounts in 60% of the hamsters and reduced the viral load tenfold in the other 40% of them. The second treatment developed by Sorrento, STI-2020, has shown excellent promise in the exact same test as STI-1499. While STI-1499 only reached 60% in the hamsters at undetectable levels of the virus, STI-2020 had 100% success in reducing the viral load down to undetectable levels. The FDA has approved STI-1499 for Phase 1 human trials in hospitalized patients already infected with COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been incredibly trying for all aspects of life in 2020. However, the current push by a variety of different companies in an effort to treat patients through antibody therapeutics gives serious promise to the near future, and to the possible value of each of these companies as well.
About the Author
Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.