Eli Lilly laboratory suspends clinical trial of experimental treatment for COVID-19

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WASHINGTON | The American pharmaceutical group Eli Lilly announced Tuesday the suspension of a clinical trial of its experimental treatment with antibodies against COVID-19 for not detailed safety reasons.

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“We know that, as a precaution, the independent health monitoring committee of the ACTIV-3 trial recommended a pause in recruitments,” said a spokesperson in a message sent to AFP, speaking of a trial involving hospitalized COVID-19 patients. “Lilly supports the decision of the independent committee to prudently ensure the safety of patients participating in the trial.”

The treatment is similar to what Donald Trump received shortly after the onset of his symptoms of COVID-19: these are synthetic antibodies injected intravenously, and which are manufactured specifically to neutralize the coronavirus responsible for the disease, replacing de facto the immune system.

Mr. Trump received antibodies made by the American company Regeneron, and praised their effectiveness after his discharge from hospital, promising to authorize them for all patients and to distribute them free of charge.

The two companies last week applied to the US Medicines Agency (FDA) for urgent approval of their treatments, but the FDA must first verify their safety and the possibility of serious side effects.

Eli Lilly’s statement did not indicate whether other trials currently testing for synthetic antibodies were also on hold, and AFP requested clarification.

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