The race for cures: already based tests of antibodies on patients

La course aux remèdes: déjà des tests à base d’anticorps sur des patients

The us pharmaceuticals giant Eli Lilly has launched the 1st June last, the first study in the world on humans for a treatment with an antibody against the COVID-19, thanks to the discoveries of the biotech canadian AbCellera.

La course aux remèdes: déjà des tests à base d’anticorps sur des patients

Véronique Lecault
Co-Founder AbCellera

In an interview with The Journal in may, the Québec Véronique Lecault, who has co-founded this company in Vancouver in 2012, said they hope the clinical trials begin as quickly as July. The combined efforts of AbCellera and Eli Lilly have enabled it to stay ahead of a month on this schedule, which was already ambitious.

Thanks to the platform developed by AbCellera in the last few years, the primary antibody used in the treatment, called LY-CoV555, has been identified at great speed from the first blood sample of a patient american cured of the COVID-19, at the end of February.

At a time when ” record “

The treatment was subsequently developed in a time when ” record “, welcomes AbCellera, recalling that it only took three months between the identification of the monoclonal antibody, the most promising and the first clinical trials, a feat on a global scale.

“We are working every day to make a difference in the lives of patients. Over the last three months, our scientists, programmers, engineers and support teams have worked tirelessly to achieve the impossible, ” said Ester Falconer, head of research and development at AbCellera in a press release.

The spikes of the virus are targeted

The antibody selected for clinical trials, among several candidates, has been selected for its enormous potential.

It focuses on the famous peaks that can be observed on the outer layer of the virus and prevents the virus to replicate in human cells, according to what could be observed in the laboratory. It now remains to be seen if the therapy will be effective on the human.

The first patients who received doses of a treatment manufactured by Eli Lilly in the United States – or placebos – are, in particular, at a hospital in New York city and Los Angeles.

The results of phase 1 are expected by the end of June. If they are successful, phase 2 could start a few weeks later with a larger number of patients.

Other antibodies selected by AbCellera could also be the subject of clinical trials in the coming months. Confident, Eli Lilly, based in Indianapolis, has already begun to produce the treatment in large quantities.

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