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NIH to launch trials to test antibody drugs for COVID-19

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The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday it would launch two trials to evaluate antibody COVID-19 drugs and follow these up with trials for other experimental therapies in patients with the disease.

Aug 4 (Reuters) - The National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Tuesday it would launch two trials to evaluate antibody COVID-19 drugs and follow these up with trials for other experimental therapies in patients with the disease.

NIH would start with testing Eli Lilly and Co's LLY.N experimental COVID-19 antibody treatment in a mid-stage, ACTIV-2, and a late-stage study, ACTIV-3.

Lilly's LY-CoV555, which is being developed in partnership with Canadian biotech AbCellera, is already being studied as a COVID-19 treatment in patients who have contracted the disease.

The mid-stage study aims to enroll about 220 volunteers with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms and who have not been hospitalized, while the initial late-stage trial will enroll about 300 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with mild to moderate symptoms. (https://bit.ly/3k52KdE)(https://bit.ly/33sgrxs)

In a bid to speed up development, both the trials have been designed to enroll additional participants if the drug succeeds in the studies.

If an investigational therapy is unsafe or not likely to be effective, it will be dropped, the NIH said in a statement.

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci said he expects results from the mid-stage study by October or early November.

The studies will also receive support through Operation Warp Speed, the White House initiative aimed at accelerating access to vaccines and treatments to fight COVID-19.

(Reporting by Dania Nadeem in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

((Dania.Nadeem@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, outside U.S. +91 80 6182 3463;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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