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Lilly initiates Phase 1 clinical trial for a COVID-19 antibody treatment

Jaimy Lee

Shares of Eli Lilly & Co. gained 0.3% in premarket trading on Monday after the drugmaker said it had started a Phase 1 trial for its experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment. The therapy, LY-CoV555, was developed by Lilly, AbCellera, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases from a blood sample from one of the first people to recover from COVID-19 in the U.S. The placebo-controlled trial will test the antibody treatment in patients hospitalized with COVID-19; Lilly said it expects to release data from the trial by the end of this month. "Antibody therapies such as LY-CoV555 may have potential for both prevention and treatment of COVID-19 and may be particularly important for groups hardest hit by the disease such as the elderly and those with compromised immune systems," Lilly chief scientific officer Daniel Skovronsky said in a news release. Looking ahead, Lilly said it plans to test the therapy in COVID-19 patients who have not been hospitalized and as a preventative tool if the Phase 1 trial demonstrates the drug is safe. Lilly's stock is up 16.3% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is down 5.7%.